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CellCAN Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy Network - CellCAN

$2.8 million for 2014-21
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CellCAN Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy Network

Number of partners

Partner contributions

Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Montréal, Quebec

Denis Claude Roy Denis Claude Roy

Board chair
William Brock William Brock
Partner, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Survivor of acute myeloid leukemia and patient advocate

Enabling pan-Canadian cell and gene therapy manufacturing

The opportunity

The field of regenerative medicine and cell and gene therapy is rapidly evolving thanks to the excellence in fundamental research and new front-line technologies. Collaboration and information sharing between researchers, regulators, funding agencies and industry is essential and requires a streamlined approach to conducting cell and gene therapy clinical trials. This requires a central hub of information for better implementation and an overall improvement to patient care. Specifically, the cell and gene therapy manufacturing sector in Canada needs to operate under a common seal of quality to increase safety and rapidly and effectively migrate innovative treatment concepts (for diseases such as diabetes, cancer, macular degeneration, etc.) into standard clinical practice.

How CellCAN is seizing the opportunity

CellCAN is improving the quality, safety and feasibility of cell and gene therapies in Canada through optimal manufacturing practices. CellCAN is creating a common seal of quality for Canadian cell and gene therapy manufacturing facilities, influencing regulatory standards to establish adequate regulatory oversight, creating business and networking opportunities, and empowering information multipliers in helping Canadians make informed and safe decisions for their health.

Among the results

  • CellCAN was able to leverage its $400K-a-year grant into over $11.2M in projects by partnering with the right organizations, positioning Canada as a key player in cell & gene therapy, and fostering collaboration between its Network Affiliates.
  • All Canadian Cell Manufacturing Facilities and other stakeholders now have access to a secure knowledge sharing platform, CellCAN’s Extranet, providing private Workspaces and discussion forums for protocol and document exchange between colleagues. This optimizes the sharing and flow of information, especially on multicenter clinical trials at regional, national and international levels.
  • CellCAN is working with regularity agencies to advance regulatory standards, which already lead to modified policies and guidelines to reduce redundancies and favour streamlined clinical trial applications. CellCAN co-launched a Cell Therapy Stakeholder Group (CTSG) to engage Health Canada (HC) in bi-annual face-to-face meetings. The CTSG recommendations led to improved regulatory oversight, and updated HC on shifts and trends in the healthcare landscape impacting patients, providers, sponsors and regulators.
  • CellCAN offers unique networking and partnership opportunities through multidisciplinary meetings that allow for strategic discussions surrounding the development of cell and gene therapy in Canada. In 2017, CellCAN hosted its first pan-Canadian Strategic Forum that gathered 160 experts in clinical research, industry, regulatory agencies, government officials, foundations, funding agencies and commercialization organizations for a two-day meeting. CellCAN also hosted the first Canadian Pavilion, reuniting key members of the Canadian cell and gene therapy ecosystem in London, UK, at ISCT’s 2017 annual meeting.
  • Hundreds of researchers, HQPs (highly qualified personnel), industry partners and other networks received training through CellCAN’s workshops, specifically on cell manufacturing best practices.

Connect with CellCAN


March 15-17, 2021
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
Watch Video
The Power of our Cells to Revolutionize Medicine: Kelley Parato
May 25, 2016
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The Power of our Cells to Revolutionize Medicine: Bernard Thébaud
May 12, 2016
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The Power of our Cells to Revolutionize Medicine: Lauralyn McIntyre
May 12, 2016
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The Power of our Cells to Revolutionize Medicine: Heidi Elmoazzen
May 11, 2016