Today’s announcement of a new centre for advanced therapeutic cell technologies in Toronto is an investment in health-related technology, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The health of Canadians is a priority,” Prime Minister Trudeau said at the announcement. “We believe that supporting this new, world-class facility will have significant benefits for innovative health-related technology in Canada and around the world.
GE Healthcare and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario will invest a combined $40 million in partnership with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) to build the centre in Toronto’s MARs discovery district, which is operated by a not-for-profit corporation to commercialize publicly funded medical research and other technologies.
According to a news release, the centre will speed the development of cell manufacturing technologies to improve patient access to new therapies. Scaling up the quantity of stem cells to the vast numbers required for transplantation while ensuring the purity and quality of those cells is vital to moving the regenerative medicine field forward.
James Price, President and CEO of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, attended the Toronto event and said the investment will enhance capacity to implement the Canadian Stem Cell Strategy, the private-public partnership that will deliver up to 10 new curative therapies to the clinic within 10 years.
“It’s key piece to the puzzle,” he said, noting that state of the art cell-manufacturing facilities are operating in Laval, Montreal, and Ottawa and that one will open its doors in Edmonton this summer. “These kinds of developments boost Canada’s overall ability to produce cells and attract clinical trials so that we can begin delivering new treatments to a number of diseases.”
Michael May, President and CEO of CCRM, added: “We have built a strong industry consortium of nearly 50 companies to help drive a collaborative approach to realizing the potential of regenerative medicine. 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.”
Kieran Murphy, CEO of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business, says it is “increasingly clear that cell therapies and regenerative medicine will transform health care globally, but successful industrialization is now crucial to widespread adoption. This new centre will enable us to work with cell therapy companies to push beyond existing technical limits and problem-solve.”