Funding from Ontario government launches
OmniaBio Inc. OmniaBio Inc’s new facility will be the largest CDMO in Canada for the manufacture of CGTs
March 31, 2022 (Toronto, ON) – OmniaBio Inc., a subsidiary of CCRM, is the first project to be funded under the Invest Ontario Fund. Subject to reaching a definitive agreement, OmniaBio Inc. will be the recipient of a loan of up to $40 million from the Government of Ontario, funding that will kickstart the construction of a 250,000 ft2 (23,225 m2 ) contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for cell and gene therapies (CGTs) – the largest facility of its kind in Canada.
“We are grateful to the Government of Ontario, through Invest Ontario, for helping to support this important initiative that will create hundreds of direct jobs and provide the infrastructure so that potentially life-saving cell and gene therapies can be manufactured domestically,” says Michael May, President and CEO, CCRM.
Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, explains: “As the first facility of its kind to provide commercial-scale cell and gene therapy manufacturing in Canada, OmniaBio will support our pipeline of homegrown life sciences companies, while boosting Ontario’s presence in the global biotech industry. This is the kind of value-added, strategic investment that our government is proud to champion – creating skilled jobs, advancing our healthcare and driving innovation.”
The facility, part of a biomanufacturing centre of excellence being built at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario, will leverage CCRM’s existing capabilities by providing pivotal/Phase III and commercial-scale manufacturing of gene-modified cell therapies and viral vectors, compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards, with the flexibility to pivot to other advanced therapies in emergencies. It will feature GMP workforce training capabilities on-site through the Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute (CATTI) – a partnership between CCRM and Montreal-based CellCAN.
“OmniaBio will be the anchor tenant of a biomanufacturing centre of excellence and life sciences ecosystem being built at McMaster Innovation Park, and we’re thrilled to be the catalyst that will attract therapy developers, supply chain and related companies to the Hamilton area,” notes Mitchel Sivilotti, CEO, OmniaBio Inc. “This is a great news story for Ontario but also for the industry.”
“We are delighted to have OmniaBio make MIP its home,” says Ty Shattuck, CEO of McMaster Innovation Park. “This facility will enable an ecosystem by leveraging Hamilton’s historic strength in manufacturing along with its emerging prowess in life sciences. But this is about more than Hamilton; this is about providing life sciences ventures from across Ontario a place to scale, grow and compete on a global stage.”
Canada’s leadership in the science goes back to 1961 when Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch identified stem cells while conducting research at the Ontario Cancer Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. That discovery has led to an industry with 1,195 gene, cell and tissue-based therapeutic developers worldwide and over 1,320 clinical trials underway globally by the end of 2021.1
The volume of clinical trials puts pressure on CDMOs to scale-up the production of cells and viral vectors needed for therapies, and worldwide demand is currently outstripping supply by at least five times. OmniaBio Inc. is being built to support Canadian and international therapy developers and is expected to attract foreign direct investment from the global life sciences industry. Based on the numbers of clinical trials in progress, there could be 10-20 gene therapy products approved every year for the next several years needing CDMO services.
CCRM is a global, public-private partnership headquartered in Canada. It receives funding from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and leading academic and industry partners. CCRM supports the development of regenerative medicines and associated enabling technologies, with a specific focus on cell and gene therapy. A network of researchers, leading companies, strategic investors and entrepreneurs, CCRM accelerates the translation of scientific discovery into new companies and marketable products for patients, with specialized teams, funding, and infrastructure. CCRM is the commercialization partner of the University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design. CCRM is hosted by the University of Toronto. Visit us at ccrm.ca.
About OmniaBio Inc.
OmniaBio Inc. is a subsidiary of CCRM. OmniaBio is supported by the Government of Ontario, via the Invest Ontario Fund. OmniaBio’s facility will be Canada’s first commercial-scale CDMO dedicated to cell and gene therapies and is expected to be the largest facility of its kind in Canada. To be located at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario, OmniaBio will anchor a biomanufacturing centre of excellence and will open in three phases between 2024 and 2026. Benefitting from CCRM’s existing expertise and established business practices, OmniaBio will complete CCRM’s continuum of process development and manufacturing capabilities by enabling focused support for clients with late clinical phase and commercial supply needs. Visit us at omniabio.com.
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