The Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute has joined forces with the pharmaceutical CDMO to cater to recent post-secondary graduates, industry professionals and companies growing their roster of cleanroom manufacturing staff
The Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute (CATTI) has launched its first in-person training site at the University of Guelph through a partnership with OmniaBio, CCRM and the university.
The training programme, to begin in summer 2023, will cater to recent post-secondary graduates, industry professionals and companies growing their roster of cleanroom manufacturing staff.
The fast growth of cell and gene therapies (CGTs) has made it a challenge for the global industry to keep up with talent requirements. This new CGT technical training site will begin to address the industry's critical training needs and represents the first stage of a larger, multi-site training strategy for CATTI.
For the first year, the programme will focus on human pluripotent stem cell banking, aseptic techniques, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) optimised for CGT manufacturing, and lab skills (such as pipetting, vessel handling, microscope operation, and more)
"The biosafety level 2 lab space at the University of Guelph will expand CATTI's offering in central Canada and provide hands-on-learning in a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art space for workers across Canada and internationally," explained Vanessa Laflamme, CEO of CATTI. "We expect to train over 600 people in the next two years, including over 300 employees for OmniaBio, one of CATTI's strategic customers."
"When CCRM and CellCAN launched CATTI in 2021, our vision was to build a skilled biomanufacturing workforce in Canada to meet current and future needs. This training site at the University of Guelph will play an important role as Canada prepares and adapts to an emerging industry that represents the future of medicine," said Michael May, President and CEO of CCRM. "This is a first for Canada, and I'm pleased to see this coming to fruition so quickly as it will benefit Canadians by fostering a strong, domestic biomanufacturing industry."
For the first year, the programme will focus on human pluripotent stem cell banking, aseptic techniques, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) optimised for CGT manufacturing, and lab skills (such as pipetting, vessel handling, microscope operation, and more).
The curriculum will include a combination of online courses and hands-on courses in a specialised training lab designed to focus on providing GMP industry standard skill sets.
The rapid opening of this unique training site in Ontario wouldn't have been possible without the contributions of CCRM and its recently launched subsidiary, OmniaBio. OmniaBio is set to be Canada's largest contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) for the manufacture of CGTs.
In the first phase of construction, OmniaBio is building an 89,000 sqft (7,432 sqm) facility, equipped with 15 cleanrooms and staffed by 500 employees, which is expected to be completed in 2024. With a second building planned, OmniaBio and CCRM will have more than 50 clean rooms and over 1,000 employees.
With its focus on providing cleanroom-ready skills for this fast-growing Canadian manufacturing sector, CATTI is a pivotal contributor to OmniaBio's growth, and the growth of the biomanufacturing sector overall.
"OmniaBio has a significant need for trained talent due to the growth trajectory and technical capability of its operation," said Mitchel Sivilotti, CEO of OmniaBio. "This collaboration with CATTI and the University of Guelph is a win for everyone involved. We will support the effort by providing funding, strategic guidance and content development input to facilitate a hands-on, highly-focused, GMP training experience utilising the most current equipment and technologies used in CGT manufacturing today."
"This programme is a key partnership for OmniaBio and will create a reliable and lean system to support our ability to onboard and advance the careers of biotech manufacturing specialists at the speed we need to meet market demand. Canada, in turn, gains a growing and highly-skilled workforce that will enable companies like OmniaBio to produce life-saving products for our biotechnology clients and the patients who need them," continued Sivilotti.
"I am so pleased and excited to begin our partnership with CATTI, OmniaBio and CCRM," said Tarek Saleh, Professor and Chair of Department of Biomedical Sciences at Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), University of Guelph. "This collaboration aligns with OVC's strategic mandate of improving the health of humans, animals and our environment, and will allow the training of highly-qualified personnel in the field of regenerative medicine, including cell therapy. This will allow us to meet the Province of Ontario's mandate of ensuring our students have an employment opportunity upon graduation, as well as meet the growing demands of this industry sector."