Animal health, food safety center opens in Canada

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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BELLEVILLE, Ontario – Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. opened its new Animal Health and Food Safety Vaccine Manufacturing Centre at its Belleville, Ontario, Canada corporate headquarters. It is the largest livestock vaccine manufacturing facility in Canada with the capacity to supply Canadian animal vaccine requirements and to meet international regulatory standards.

Bioniche now has the capability to produce a wide variety of vaccines, with fermentation capabilities of up to 5,000 liters and all downstream processing and supporting utilities. The project received financial support from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development & Trade (Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy Program) - -$10 million (US$10.5 million) repayable contribution; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Agri-Opportunities Program) – $5 million (US$5.3 million) repayable contribution; Business Development Bank of Canada – $5 million(US$5.3 million) repayable contribution; and Industry Canada (Industrial Technologies Office) – $5 million (US$5.3 million) repayable contribution.

"This government funding was critical to achieve our vision for a state-of-the-art Canadian vaccine manufacturing facility to produce a range of vaccines to prevent illnesses in animals and to reduce the likelihood of human illness from animal diseases," said Graeme McRae, chairman, president and CEO of Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.

The ne center was designed and built to meet the highest manufacturing standards for future supply of animal vaccines into global markets, added Mohamed Elrafih, vice-president of manufacturing operations.

Once fully commissioned, the first product to be made at the center will be Econiche, the company's E. coli O157 cattle vaccine, which is directed to reducing the level of this deadly pathogen in water, food and the environment and, in turn, help minimize the potential for infection of humans.

During the April 29th opening of center, the company also recognized additional government support associated with its vaccine development. The Rural Economic Development (RED) Program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs provided a $2 million (US$2.1 million) grant in 2007 in support of market development related to the company's E. coli O157 cattle vaccine. In April 2010, the company received an investment of $750,000 (US$788,561) (repayable loan) from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) for developing a pilot-scale fermentation facility adjacent to the new center. This facility houses fermentation equipment and downstream processing to allow small-scale, bench-top processes to be scaled up and readied for commercial-scale production in the center.

Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. is a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of proprietary products for human and animal health markets worldwide.
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