Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) and the University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute have broken ground on the Critical Medicines Production Center (CMPC). The Center is the cornerstone of the $200 million Canadian Critical Drug Initiative (CCDI), a strategy devised in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to secure supply chain resilience and solidify Alberta’s and Canada’s position as a pharmaceutical leader.

The 83,000+ ft2 facility reportedly will have ability to produce more than 70 million doses of a product a year and a critical sprint capacity to fill the needs of Canada in under 100 days. Benefits include improved patient access to needed medicines, enhanced hospital operations, and the addition of much-needed capacity to produce and manufacture therapeutic drugs. One of the first products of the facility, Propofol, is a critical hospital drug.

Biomanufacturing and life sciences sector

With support from all orders of government, CCDI is a significant contributor to Alberta’s burgeoning biomanufacturing and life sciences sector, creating more than 350 jobs in Alberta and notable additional employment in spin-off industries, according to officials associated with the Center. Investment includes C$80.5 million in federal funding through PrairiesCan, C$17.6 million from the Government of Alberta, and City of Edmonton approval of the lease required to build the CMPC in the Edmonton Research Park.

“Alberta can and should be a leader in discovering and manufacturing the critical medicines that will save and improve lives. The CMPC and the broader CCDI are tremendous steps forward towards building this role,” Andrew MacIsaac, CEO, API. “This initiative will create potentially thousands of jobs in the life sciences sector, delivering substantial benefits to Canada’s life sciences ecosystem by attracting investment, fostering job creation, and retaining intellectual property and talent within the country. More importantly, it will provide access to life saving treatments when we need them most.”

“The CMPC will catalyze the expansion of the life sciences industry and fortify Canada’s readiness against present and future pandemics as well as other threats that impact the global medicine supply chain,” added Sir Michael Houghton, PhD, director, Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, University of Alberta, and CSO, API. “Additionally, it will drive the research and development of medications targeting prevalent diseases lacking preventive measures. Through these efforts, we aim to safeguard and enhance lives globally.”

Construction for the CMPC is set to be completed by 2026.

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