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Animal vaccine manufacturing centre opens


Belleville, ON – Biopharmaceutical company Bioniche Life Sciences has officially opened a new Animal Health and Food Safety Vaccine Manufacturing Centre at its corporate headquarters in Belleville. The company says the facility represents the largest livestock vaccine manufacturing facility in Canada, with capacity to supply Canadian animal vaccine requirements and to meet international regulatory standards (Good Manufacturing Practice – GMP).

The expansion allows it to produce a wide spectrum of vaccines, with fermentation capabilities of up to 5,000 litres and all downstream processing and supporting utilities.

Once fully commissioned, the first product to be manufactured in the centre will be the company’s E. coli O157 cattle vaccine that is directed to reducing the level of the pathogen in water, food and the environment.

The project was made possible through financial support from the following government agencies:

• Ontario Ministry of Economic Development & Trade (Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy Program) – $10 million repayable contribution
• Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (Agri-Opportunities Program) – $5 million repayable contribution
• Business Development Bank of Canada – $5 million repayable contribution
• Industry Canada (Industrial Technologies Office) – $5 million repayable contribution

The company also says it received additional government support associated with its vaccine development. The Rural Economic Development (RED) Program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs provided a $2 million grant in 2007 in support of market development related to the E. coli O157 cattle vaccine. The company also received a loan of $750,000 from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) for the development of a pilot-scale fermentation facility adjacent to the new vaccine manufacturing centre. This facility houses fermentation equipment and downstream processing to allow small-scale, bench-top processes to be scaled up and readied for commercial-scale production in the vaccine manufacturing centre.