Canadian Manufacturing

Invest Ontario Fund loans $40M to OmniaBio Inc. for biomanufacturing facility

The facility will feature GMP workforce training capabilities on-site through the Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute (CATTI).

March 31, 2022   by CM Staff

TORONTO — 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).

“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 reportedly 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.

Advertisement

“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.”

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 try and support Canadian and international therapy developers and is expected to attract foreign direct investment from the global life sciences industry.