Strategic Alliance a Shot in the Arm for Stem Cell Commercialization Efforts
Regenerative medicine (RM) has the potential to transform healthcare by developing curative therapies for diseases such as heart failure or vision loss. By repairing damaged tissues and organs, this will not only improve patients’ lives but create economic impact in a market forecasted to reach $5.6B USD by 2025 .
Several Canadian-made cell therapies will take a major step closer to the clinic thanks to a new collaboration between the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM) and the Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy and Regenerative Medicine (C3i).
Each organization will leverage their unique resources and expertise to help Canadian research teams overcome common but significant hurdles in the regenerative medicine (RM) translational process, from clinical trials through to therapeutic application.
C3i is a funded Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research (CECR) of the federal government’s Networks of Centres of Excellence program. It accelerates the development of cancer immunotherapies and cellular-based therapies by providing one-stop-shop services in the chain of product development through to commercialization, as well as supporting Canadian-based companies working in this space.
OIRM is a comprehensive clinical translation ecosystem in Ontario focused on translating promising RM research from the lab to the clinic. Unfortunately, OIRM’s core provincial funding was not renewed, compromising multiple world-class translational research programs at pivotal points in clinical development.
“Our partnership with C3i is truly a win-win for both organizations, for RM research in Ontario and Canada, and for the health of Canadians,” says Dr. Duncan Stewart, President & Scientific Director, OIRM. “With C3i’s deep commercialization resources and manufacturing expertise, OIRM will be able to shift our translational pipeline into high gear. In turn, OIRM will help C3i achieve lateral growth in the RM field on par with their impact to date in the field of cancer immunotherapy.”
The CEO of C3i, Mr. Benoit Deschamps, says: “We believe that the C3i-OIRM partnership truly expands the one-stop-shop model in supporting cell & gene therapies for Canadian technologies.”
In addition to supporting commercialization and manufacturing activities, OIRM and C3i will launch a joint Industry and Investor Program that will include “pitch days” – technology scouting calls tailored to the interested organization – as well as opportunities to work alongside researchers to develop strategic solutions needed to advance technologies through the pipeline.
The C3i-OIRM partnership will be guided via a joint steering committee. The OIRM administrative centre and a satellite office for C3i will share space in Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District.
“As part of its Canadian mandate, C3i is excited to expand the Ontario-Quebec corridor and support innovation ensuring that Canadian technology in cell and gene therapy space can flourish and remain accessible to Canadians,” said Mr. Deschamps.