News Release

The Ottawa Hospital is expanding life-saving biotherapeutics research and manufacturing to its new campus thanks to $59 million grant

Grant and Award Announcement

The Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital's Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre


The Ottawa Hospital's Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre has manufactured stem cell therapies, cancer-fighting viruses, cellular immunotherapies and vaccines for clinical trials around the world.

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Credit: The Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital is receiving $59 million to boost Canada’s capacity to develop and manufacture life-saving biotherapeutics, including vaccines, gene therapies and cell therapies. Most of the funding ($47 million) will support the construction and operation of a world-class biomanufacturing facility at The Ottawa Hospital’s new campus, while the remainder will enable harmonization and cooperation across six Canadian biomanufacturing facilities.

The funding is part of a $115 million investment from the Government of Canada in the Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub (CP2H), co-led by the University of Ottawa and McMaster University, in partnership with The Ottawa Hospital. The investment was made through the federal government’s integrated Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund.

“This funding will ensure that The Ottawa Hospital continues to be a leader in developing and manufacturing life-saving biotherapeutics,” said Dr. Duncan Stewart, Executive Vice-President of Research at The Ottawa Hospital, Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Principal Investigator for the CP2H infrastructure grant. “Biotherapeutics represent the future of medicine, and will be critical in responding to future pandemics and other health threats.”

New funding will fuel much-needed expansion of biomanufacturing facility

Over the last 15 years, researchers at The Ottawa Hospital have led more than 20 world-first clinical trials using a variety of biotherapeutics such as stem cells, cancer-fighting viruses and cellular immunotherapy. These trials are possible because of The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (BMC), a specialized clean-room facility that can develop and manufacture novel therapeutic products incorporating cells, genes, viruses and other biological materials.

The BMC is the most experienced and successful facility of its kind in Canada, with more than 40 full-time staff based at The Ottawa Hospital’s General Campus. It consistently operates at full capacity and is booked far in advance with both academic and industry clients.

“This investment will enable a much-needed expansion of our Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre, as well as the creation of a biomanufacturing collective with partners across the country,” said Dr. John Bell, Senior Scientist at The Ottawa Hospital, Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Co-Scientific Director of CP2H.

The expanded Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre will be part of a larger ambulatory care and research building at The Ottawa Hospital’s state-of-the-art new campus, that will be home to one of the largest and most technologically advanced hospitals in Canada.  

“As a global leader in health care research, TOH is driven to always be on the cutting edge of medical discovery and innovating the patient experience,” said Cameron Love, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital.  “Expanding our already successful Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre to our new campus will help attract and retain top researchers and clinicians from around the globe and strengthen health research and innovation in the capital.”

Biotherapeutics trial ‘saved my life’

Many patients have benefited from biotherapeutics research at The Ottawa Hospital, including Camille Leahy, who participated in the first clinical trial of made-in-Canada CAR-T therapy for cancer. This novel gene engineered cell therapy was a success and today she is cancer free.

“This trial saved my life,” said Camille. “I’m so grateful to everyone who made it possible, and I hope that many more people will be able to benefit from this kind of research and treatment in the future.”

BMC has also been supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Research Fund, BioCanRx and generous donors to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) is one of Canada’s top learning and research hospitals where we are guided by our vision to provide the world-class and compassionate care we would all want for our loved ones. Our multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, is home to the Regional Trauma Centre and Cancer Centre, and to discoveries that are adopted globally. Backed by generous support from the community, we are focused on reshaping the future of health care to improve the health of our diverse population of patients from Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, and Nunavut. For more information about The Ottawa Hospital, visit

Media contact
Jenn Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

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