critical medicines

API and U of A break ground on Canada’s largest critical medicines facility 

Health and Life Sciences
Published On
June 26, 2024

On June 20, 2024, the Canadian Critical Drug Initiative (CCDI) broke ground on their new Critical Medicines Production Centre (CMPC) in the Edmonton Region 

 The CCDI is a collaboration between Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) and the University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, home to the largest consortiums of virologists in Canada. The CCDI aims to create an integrated research, commercialization, and manufacturing cluster for pharmaceuticals in the Edmonton Region.  

“This is a tremendous step for our life sciences sector,” Malcolm Bruce, CEO of Edmonton Global, added. “The Edmonton Region is home to a highly skilled work force, low cost of business, and now — with the construction of the CMPC — Canada’s largest critical medicines manufacturing facility.” 

“This initiative will create potentially thousands of jobs in the life sciences sector, delivering substantial benefits to Canada’s life sciences ecosystem by attracting investment, fostering job creation, and retaining intellectual property and talent within the country. More importantly, it will provide access to life saving treatments when we need them most,” Andrew MacIsaac, API’s CEO, said. 

Building this cluster will advance the Edmonton Region’s access to life-saving drugs. The 83,000 square foot facility will produce critical medicines that are needed by the Edmonton region’s hospitals and patients — supplying over 70 million doses of product every year. 

“With the groundbreaking of the CMPC in the Edmonton Research Park, the Edmonton Region is preparing the infrastructure, services, technology and investments to support our growth and our future brimming with opportunities,” City of Edmonton Mayor, Amarjeet Sohi, said. 

 “The development of the CMPC will catalyze the expansion of Alberta’s biotech industry, fortifying Canada’s readiness against present and future pandemics,” Sir Michael Houghton, the Director Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute at University of Alberta and the Chief Scientific Officer at API, said. 

 A testament to Edmonton’s expanding life sciences and biomanufacturing industries, construction on the CMPC is slated for completion by 2026.  

 “Beginning construction on the CMPC is a crucial step in advancing the Edmonton region’s life sciences sector,” Morinville mayor and Edmonton Global’s Shareholder Chair, Simon Boersma, said.  

 “This project strengthens not only the Region’s healthcare system but positions us as a leader in innovation. The ability to produce homegrown critical medicines is crucial for our reputation as a world-class life sciences hub.” 

 The facility will provide the Edmonton Region with not only increased access to critical medicines, but also further expand the life sciences ecosystem and create jobs in the Edmonton Region. 

“The completion of this project, alongside the numerous other advancements the Edmonton Region is making in life sciences, will be a driving force in attracting investment into the Region,” Bruce said. 

 “Alberta can and should be a leader in discovering and manufacturing the critical medicines that will save and improve lives,” MacIsaac added. “The CMPC and the broader CCDI are tremendous steps forward towards building this role.” 

Amanda Sparks