GE Healthcare and FedDev Ontario commit CA$40m for new centre for advanced therapeutic cell technologies

Aims to accelerate the development and accessibility of cell manufacturing technologies

GE Healthcare is linking up with the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and the Centre for Commercialisation of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) to build a centre for advanced therapeutic cell technologies in Toronto, Canada.

GE and FedDev Ontario are investing CA$40m in the project.

The centre aims to accelerate the development of cell manufacturing technologies that improve patient access to novel regenerative medicine-based therapies. Canadian not-for-profit organisation CCRM and GE will add partners from pharma, biotech and cell therapy companies to bring this initiative to life, they said.

The wide-scale deployment of cell-based therapies has the potential to bring enormous economic and social potential for transforming the course of incurable diseases, GE said. The global market for these therapies is expected to surpass US$20bn by 2025, with an annual growth rate of 21%, according to US business management consultant Scienta Advisors. 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.

Successful industrialisation is now crucial to widespread adoption of cell therapies and regenerative medicine

Kieran Murphy, CEO of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business, said: 'It is increasingly clear that cell therapies and regenerative medicine will transform healthcare globally, but successful industrialisation 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. Toronto’s concentrated and collaborative clinical infrastructure, combined with the strong guidance of the internationally-renowned CCRM, make it an ideal location for the centre.'

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.

Michael May, President and CEO, CCRM, added: 'We have built a strong industry consortium of nearly 50 companies to help drive a collaborative approach to realising 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. We greatly appreciate FedDev Ontario’s support in making this crucial initiative happen. Both partners are essential to the centre’s success.'

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