Researchers from the University of Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital have been awarded $1,050,000 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support facilities for manufacturing innovative treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
The funding will support new equipment and infrastructure at The Ottawa Hospital's Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (BMC), which has been successfully manufacturing therapies using cells, genes and viruses for clinical trials in Canada and abroad for more than 10 years.
The funding will enhance the BMC's ability to support projects related to COVID-19, including:
- A clinical trial of a cell-based therapy for severely ill COVID-19 patients. It is hoped that this experimental therapy may be able to dampen an overactive immune response and help repair lung damage patients with severe COVID-19 infections;
- Antibody-based treatments for high-risk individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19;
- Vaccines for COVID-19, including a home-grown vaccine inspired by research on cancer-fighting viruses.
"Our Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre has already played a crucial role in launching more than 15 world-first clinical trials," said Dr. Duncan Stewart, Executive Vide-President of Research at The Ottawa Hospital and a professor at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
"Today's funding will now allow us to harness this success to help in the global fight against COVID-19."
The funding was announced by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, as part of a national announcement of more than $28 million for infrastructure related to COVID-19 research.