Canada’s largest biotechnology company, STEMCELL Technologies, announces a $45 million joint funding agreement between the Government of Canada and British Columbia for the company to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. This agreement is opening the doors wide to accelerate STEMCELL by providing cutting-edge reagents and tools to support life science researchers around the world working in the cell therapy and regenerative medicine fields.
The $138 million project will take 5 years to build and will manufacture products at the higher regulatory compliance standard required to support clinical trials in the rapidly evolving sciences of cell therapy, tissue engineering, immunotherapy, gene therapy and regenerative medicine, with the eventual aim of curing cancer and other serious diseases.
This initiative will provide and retain biotech jobs on Canadian soil and show the world that Canada is strong in the future of regenerative medicine. It will also ensure that products invented in Canada will continue to be commercialized and manufactured on Canadian soil before being sold to researchers around the world.
“This funding provides our company with the ability to add hundreds of new, high-paying jobs in BC to support global research leading to the therapies of the future,” says Dr. Allen Eaves, founder, president and CEO of STEMCELL Technologies. “It also means that we can contribute to the next generation of landmark treatments and ensures that this coming wave of stem cell therapies is stamped with the Canadian maple leaf! We are proud to be an example of the sort of growth and innovation that can be accomplished when high-tech companies partner with forward-thinking governments.”
The $45 million government investment—divided evenly between the Provincial and Federal Governments—is combined with STEMCELL’s own investment of $93 million to complete the facility between now and 2023. The Provincial portion results from the need to support well-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs that will remain anchored in BC by this new advanced manufacturing facility.
“This is the kind of opportunity our government looks for—one that can help make a real difference in the health and quality of life for people here at home and abroad,” says The Honourable Bruce Ralston, British Columbia Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “As we continue to work with companies and partners in life sciences research, we are helping create a global hub for B.C. that will allow us to create jobs for British Columbians and attract more talent and investment to our province.”
The Federal contribution will come from the Strategic Innovation Fund Program managed by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
“Canadians paved the way in stem cell research; now we’re investing in STEMCELL Technologies to help commercialize this success,” states The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “The Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund investment will create nearly 700 jobs and advance life-saving innovations that will secure STEMCELL’s place in the global supply chain for years to come.”