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Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine - CCRM

$30 million for 2011-23
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Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$16 million

Toronto, Ontario

President and CEO
Michael May Michael May

Chief Scientific Officer
Peter Zandstra Peter Zandstra

Board chair
Michael Nobrega Michael Nobrega

Turning the promise of regenerative medicine into reality

The opportunity

Regenerative medicine (RM)-based therapies hold enormous potential to repair, regenerate or replace diseased cells, tissues and organs. But many of these potentially life-changing treatments never reach patients because they are not successfully moved from the lab to the clinic. Fortunately, Canada is a global hotbed for stem cell research and bioengineering, and a leader in cell manufacturing. The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) was founded to bridge the gap between academia and industry, and enable promising technologies to reach the market. Its mission has evolved to be the preferred global destination for the best people, technologies, clinical trials, companies and investments in RM, and a premier global enabler of clinically-tested revolutionary new medical therapies and foundational technologies in RM.

How CCRM is seizing the opportunity

CCRM overcomes two major bottlenecks in RM commercialization: a dearth of early stage capital and access to centralized research infrastructure. CCRM provides small- and medium-sized enterprises, large multinationals and emerging biotechnology companies with a single entry point for accessing Canada-wide RM expertise and infrastructure. CCRM’s industry network includes around 100 Canadian and international RM companies that can access a fully-resourced, 40,000 ft² (~4,000 m²) facility in the MaRS Centre in Toronto that houses a large, fully-equipped containment level 2 (CL2) laboratory, and a stand-alone 14,000 ft² (~1,300 m²) good manufacturing practices (GMP) facility, to be operational in 2018.

CCRM is capitalizing on its extensive pipeline of intellectual property to bundle promising technologies into 10 new companies that are strategic and leverage expertise, funding and excellent science.

Among the results

  • CCRM works closely with other CECRs and federally-funded Networks on knowledge translation, training for highly qualified personnel and other programs and projects to benefit Canadians and leverage funding. Some examples include co-hosting scientific conferences and training workshops, producing white papers and recommendation guidelines, and public outreach initiatives.
  • CCRM, in partnership with University Health Network, is building a 14,000 ft2 (~1,300 m²) state-of-the-art good manufacturing practice (GMP) facility that will support academic and private sector partners, and meet government regulatory requirements for manufacturing cells for clinical use.
  • CCRM has six companies in its portfolio. One company is a spin-off (see below) and five others have been supported financially and/or through foundational science.
  • With funding from GE Healthcare and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, CCRM has built a new centre for advanced manufacturing in Toronto. The Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies is providing cell therapy companies with facilities and expertise to establish manufacturing processes to produce the significant numbers of cells required for clinical and commercial use.
  • ExCellThera, a spin-off company launched by CCRM and the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer - Commercialization of Research, in partnership with Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, began its first clinical trial in 2016. The product represents a new therapeutic option for patients who require stem cell transplantation to treat acute myeloid leukemia and other malignant blood disorders, and who lack a traditional donor. In 2018, ExCellThera will leverage the completion of its Phase I/II oncology trial into a pipeline of new clinical trials and future products.

Connect with CCRM


Building Canada's Strengths: Regenerative Medicine
April 17, 2014
Canada is recognized as a global leader in stem cell and bioengineering science, with over 400 stem cell scientists working in 68 research centres within, or affiliated with, 25 Canadian universities. Given its rich history of research excellence in the field, this country is uniquely placed to be one of the earliest beneficiaries of stem cell advances. Read more
Building Canada's Strengths: Drug Discovery and Commercialization
April 17, 2014
Developing new drugs is a long, complex and expensive process. The NCE supports several models that are helping reduce the risk and accelerate the commercialization of medical innovations that will improve health-care delivery and patient care in Canada and abroad. Read more
Take it from the top – strong leadership means better results
November 14, 2012
The Board of Directors for an NCE network or centre often reads like the Who’s Who list of a particular sector, featuring top experts and prominent figures from industry and academia. Pulling together that room full of heavy hitters is an important part of the innovative approaches to governance and best practices adopted by NCE-funded organizations to achieve their goals. Read more
Watch Video
CCRM’s Corporate Video
September 29, 2017
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CCRM Sits Down With... Molly Shoichet, University of Toronto
May 1, 2014
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Cell Culture with Bioreactors
March 31, 2014
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CCRM Sits down with... Michael D. West, CEO of BioTime
November 29, 2013
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CCRM Sits Down with... Stephen Minger
November 4, 2013