Ontario's Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster begins first project

Thursday August 22, 2019
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
August 22, 2019 – Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the administrator of Ontario's Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has greenlit $1.89 million in funding for a $4.2-million project to develop an advanced manufacturing process for gene therapies.

The investment is expected to create 470 jobs.

The project, led by iVexSol Canada, focuses on the development of lentiviral vectors (LVVs), which are the vehicles used to deliver genetic material into patients. These gene-editing reagents are critical to the manufacturing processes of cell and gene therapies (CGTs). CGTs have been successfully employed to fight cancer and repair a variety of rare and inherited genetic disorders in both children and adults.

iVexSol (intelligent Vector Solutions) Canada is a newly formed vector manufacturing company that is using a new technology to produce LVVs. In collaboration with other partners, the project will enable the development of an advanced LVV manufacturing platform in Canada – a first of its kind – and aims to establish the country as a world leader in gene-editing tools and technology.

“Our project will lower costs and increase access for patients waiting to receive these life-changing treatments,” says Dr. Rodney Rietze, iVexSol Canada’s CEO.

Over the past 30 years, LVVs have been produced using costly methods that are hard to scale. These limitations have caused global shortages of the reagent and slowed the progress of clinical trials leading to the development of CGTs.

iVexSol’s clinically proven LVV manufacturing process promises to address these shortages by producing nearly 10 times the quantity of potent, high-quality vectors with less cost and time to produce.

iVexSol will use the NGen funding to form a core team of partners. CCRM Enterprises Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), will provide the supporting manufacturing infrastructure and downstream processing capabilities.

GE Healthcare will provide the required knowledge and expertise of manufacturing processes, along with access and use of specialized tools and technology.

STEMCELL Technologies will provide advanced reagents.

“Advanced technologies are not just leading to the development of new life-saving therapeutics; they’re opening up new ways to manufacture biomedical products,” says Jayson Myers, NGen’s CEO. “This project shows how advanced manufacturing leads to more investment and high value jobs in Canada.”

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