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Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics - CCAB

$15 million for 2014-19
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Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$4.7 million

Toronto, Ontario

Robert VerhagenRobert Verhagen

Chief Scientific Officer
Sachdev Sidhu Sachdev Sidhu

Board chair
Ajay Chadha Ajay Chadha

Canada intensifies efforts to bring next gen drugs to market

The opportunity

Over the past decade, antibodies have emerged as the fastest growing segment of the pharmaceutical market. Antibodies are proteins that function in the immune system to fight invading bacteria and viruses, and with modern engineering technologies, researchers have been able to develop antibodies that can be programmed to target cancer and other devastating diseases. Canada originated the biologics revolution with the discovery of insulin in 1921. Since this breakthrough, Canada has remained at the forefront of basic biological research. The Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre (TRAC), Canada’s leading centre for the production of high-quality antibody and biological, is now able to take full advantage of the commercial opportunities of antibodies through the creation of the Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB).

How CCAB is seizing the opportunity

CCAB enables the commercialization of biologics by filling three voids in the Canadian system: a shortage of process and manufacturing know-how and engineering needed to convert antibodies into commercial products, a lack of knowledgeable and dynamic business leadership in biotherapeutics, and too few connections with international industry and investment partners to facilitate late-stage drug development. CCAB leverages TRAC’s world-class technology platform, large repertoire of antibody products, biology and experienced product development teams to produce novel intellectual property. Promising technologies are positioned for clinical development and partnered with new or existing companies for market launch. CCAB provides the business and development services needed to commercialize TRAC’s biologic and antibody assets.

Among the results

  • CCAB, representing its member, the University of Toronto, has partnered with the University of California San Francisco and the University of Chicago in a collaborative research and commercialization deal with Celgene Inc., securing more than $40 million in funding for the discovery and development of new cancer therapeutics, $13 million of which will be spent on development within Toronto.
  • Select antibodies targeting cancer and other diseases have been moved into CCAB’s development program from a pipeline of projects consisting of more than 200 different target-based screening programs originating at TRAC. CCAB is targeting the creation of five new companies and the licensing or co-development of more than 10 technologies over the next five years with Canadian and international companies.
  • CCAB has executed more than 135 partner-focused agreements with Canadian and international industrial and academic collaborators, such as Saksin Pharmaceuticals in India for the co-development of better antibody drugs. The first product is scheduled for clinical trials in 2017, and three additional programs have been initiated.
  • CCAB is the industry sponsor of 10 trainees at the University of Toronto and McMaster University, with antibody development projects for many diseases, including Glioblastoma and other deadly cancers, through Mitacs Elevate and Accelerate fellowships.

Connect with CCAB


November 21, 2017
October 10, 2017