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CENTRE LEGACY: Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics - CCAB

Funded 2014-21

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Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics

NCE contributions
$16.5 million

Toronto, Ontario

Canada intensifies efforts to bring next gen drugs to market

While the life sciences industry in Canada has a significant advantage over many jurisdictions, there is a lack of expertise in moving innovations forward past the early discovery stage to a point where potential products can be identified to become the basis for new companies focused on translational activity. Further, there is a lack of sufficient seed-stage financing available to advance this activity.

The Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB) worked to help expand the life sciences industry sector in Canada. CCAB provided in-house development management expertise and applied its development expertise broadly by working with emerging companies or by assisting in the creation of companies that had (or had access to) world-leading research ready for product development. Through its network and relationships with potential investors, CCAB provided avenues to obtain direct financial support for these emerging companies. In conjunction with externally sourced funding, CCAB helped them develop their lead candidates such that they can attract further development funding and become marketable products, with the view of making these companies sustainable, Canadian-based entities.

Among the results

  • In early 2018, CCAB launched C-Lab as a Fee-for-Service (FFS) business that provides antibody development and preclinical manufacturing capabilities to the general market. This antibody development expertise also contributed to the local academic community and enhanced CCAB’s ability to support emerging companies.
  • In May 2018, CCAB launched the distribution of its reagent antibodies in partnership with MédiMabs Antibodies. The agreement marked the launch of a new business segment for CCAB and allowed MédiMabs to expand its portfolio to include human synthetic antibodies.
  • In July 2018, CCAB signed a development deal with ImmunoBiochem to help advance the company’s ADC program to the IND stage, building on the April 2016 efforts when CCAB had signed a deal with ImmunoBiochem to develop new oncology therapies.
  • In February 2019, CCAB signed a licensing agreement with a new Canadian company, Empirica Therapeutics. The two companies worked together to develop new treatments for glioblastoma, focussing initially on its lead candidate target, CD133.

Following the support from the CECR Program, three successful organizations, CDRD – The Centre for Drug Research and Development, the NEOMED Institute, and Accel-Rx came together to form a new pan-Canadian, adMare BioInnovations to being their collective resources together, and continue to advance the respective mission of each under the umbrella of this new organization. For more information, please visit