Since the 1963 discovery of stem cells by two University of Toronto researchers, Drs. Ernest McCulloch and James Till, Ontario has been at the forefront of regenerative medicine discovery and development.
Dr. Peter Zandstra C.M., Chief Scientific Officer, and Dr. Michael May, President and Chief Executive Officer of CCRM, recognized a need to translate this pipeline of discovery into products, leading to the founding of the organization in 2011.
“Working with our partners, we established a capital-efficient and collaborative commercialization model to make that happen,” says May. “Today, CCRM has a global client base, and our team supports the commercialization of regenerative medicine-based technologies and cell and gene therapies with strategic funding, dedicated infrastructure and specialized business and scientific expertise.”
Those commercialization capabilities took a giant leap forward in March 2022 with the announcement of the launch of OmniaBio Inc., a biomanufacturing operation that extended from CCRM. OmniaBio will be the anchor tenant in a new biomanufacturing campus being built in Hamilton’s McMaster Innovation Park.
As a contract development and manufacturing organization—known in the industry as a CDMO—OmniaBio will support a broad range of cell and gene therapy companies by providing process development and clinical/commercial production services in compliance with global health standards. OmniaBio’s technical and manufacturing focus will be gene-modified and cell-based therapeutics and viral vectors for pivotal Phase III in-human clinical trials and commercial-stage manufacturing.
The facility is set to be Canada’s largest CDMO specializing in cell and gene therapies. “OmniaBio Inc. will be a game-changer for Ontario and Canada,” says May. “It will provide missing infrastructure and expertise to allow Canadian cell and gene companies to remain here while also attracting foreign companies. Cell and gene therapy is Canada’s opportunity to be a global leader in the life sciences.”
Read the full Invest Ontario piece here