Chalfont St. Giles, UK and Toronto, ON – GE Healthcare, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) are building a centre for advanced therapeutic cell technologies in Toronto with funding of $40M from GE and FedDev Ontario. The centre is being established to accelerate the development and adoption of cell manufacturing technologies that improve patient access to novel regenerative medicine-based therapies. CCRM and GE will welcome partners from pharma, biotech and cell therapy companies to bring this initiative to life.
The wide-scale deployment of cell-based therapies brings enormous economic and social potential for transforming the course of incurable diseases. The main targets for cell-based therapies are high impact disease areas with significant unmet need, including cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, musculoskeletal disorder and autoimmune diseases.
At the announcement this week, the Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, commented: “The health of Canadians is a priority. We believe that supporting this new, world-class facility will have significant benefits for innovative health-related technology in Canada and around the world. It will also generate new jobs and make Ontario an even stronger competitor in the bio-tech industry.”
Cell therapy’s pace of development and clinical outcomes have, in many cases, exceeded expectations. Industrialization, technological innovation, and systemic support are now required to maintain this momentum. The centre will provide cell therapy companies with facilities and expertise to help establish manufacturing processes that can produce the large cell numbers required for clinical and commercial use. Located in Toronto’s hub of stem cell science, bioengineering, and clinical trials activities, the centre will work with its industry partners to introduce new technologies to solve emerging technical challenges and bridge gaps in current and future workflows.
“We have built a strong industry consortium of nearly 50 companies to help drive a collaborative approach to realizing the potential of regenerative medicine,” said Michael May, CCRM’s president and CEO. “GE Healthcare already plays a leading role in that consortium and the company’s deep knowledge of the bioprocessing industry, combined with its global scale and health care insights, makes it the ideal anchor partner for the new centre. We greatly appreciate FedDev Ontario’s support in making this crucial initiative happen. Both partners are essential to the centre’s success.”