“CCRM spent a lot of time looking for the right investment partner for OmniaBio, and we are very happy to have Medipost on board,” said Mitchel Sivilotti, President of OmniaBio. “Medipost will be a first anchor and revenue-generating customer for OmniaBio and will also help us develop an international customer base in Asia. We are starting from a strong and stable position and will begin construction at McMaster Innovation Park this summer.
OmniaBio is expected to be the largest contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) in Canada for the manufacture of cell and gene therapies. OmniaBio will provide Phase III and commercial-scale manufacturing of genetically engineered cells and viral vectors, which is an extension of the clinical-stage capabilities already offered by CCRM.
Medipost’s financing contributes to a global project of 580 million dollars for the construction of real estate and the operation of OmniaBio.
“CCRM and Medipost share a global vision and a desire to create an ecosystem,” said Michael May, President and CEO, CCRM, “so we couldn’t be happier with this partnership. OmniaBio would not be possible without partners like UHN, Cytiva, University of Toronto and our government funders. We are grateful to everyone who supported our vision, including Medipost.
Building on existing CCRM expertise, OmniaBio will work with a variety of cell types, such as T cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. OmniaBio’s manufacturing platforms are customized for viral vectors, as well as autologous and allogeneic cells. The facility will be compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and will benefit from on-site GMP workforce training capabilities through the Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute (CATTI) – a partnership between the CCRM and CellCAN, based in Montreal.
According to the CCRM, there is a manufacturing capacity problem in the cell and gene therapy industry due to the large volume of products in clinical trials, with demand exceeding CDMO availability by at least five times. In the first phase of construction, OmniaBio will build an approximately 85,000 square foot facility, equipped with 15 clean rooms and staffed by 500 employees, which is expected to be completed in 2024. With the planned expansion, OmniaBio and CCRM combined will have more than 50 clean rooms and more than 1,000 employees including the CCRM Cell and Vector Production Center at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, a partnership with UHN.