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CATTI has launched an in-person training site at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, for training personnel in cell and gene therapy manufacturing.
On May 15, 2023, the Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute (CATTI) announced that it has launched a cell and gene therapy (CGT) training center of excellence at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada through a partnership with the university, CCRM, a Canada-based public–private partnership, and OmniaBio, a subsidiary of CCRM and a contract development and manufacturing organization specializing in the production of gene-modified cells and viral vectors. According to the institute’s press release, the new center is CATTI’s first in-person training site at the university.
The CGT training program is slated to begin in the summer of 2023 and will cater to recent post-secondary graduates, industry professionals, and companies looking to grow their cleanroom manufacturing staff. The site will begin to address the industry’s critical training needs, and, according to CATTI in the press release, the program represents the first stage of a larger, multi-site training strategy for the institute.
In its first year, the program will focus on human pluripotent stem cell banking, aseptic techniques, good manufacturing practices (GMPs) optimized for CGT manufacturing, and lab skills, including pipetting, vessel handling, microscope operation, and other skills. The curriculum is expected to include a combination of online courses and hands-on courses in a specialized training lab. The lab is designed to focus on providing GMP industry standard skill sets, according to the press release.
“The biosafety level 2 lab space at the University of Guelph will expand CATTI’s offering in central Canada and provide hands-on-learning in a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art space for workers across Canada and internationally,” said Vanessa Laflamme, CEO, CATTI, in the release. “We expect to train [more than] 600 people in the next two years, including [more than] 300 employees for OmniaBio, one of CATTI’s strategic customers.”
“OmniaBio has a significant need for trained talent due to the growth trajectory and technical capability of its operation,” said Mitchel Sivilotti, CEO, OmniaBio, in the release. “This collaboration with CATTI and the University of Guelph is a win for everyone involved. We will support the effort by providing funding, strategic guidance, and content development input to facilitate a hands-on, highly-focused, GMP training experience utilizing the most current equipment and technologies used in CGT manufacturing today.”
OmniaBio, which was itself recently launched by CCRM in March 2022 (1), is also in the process of constructing new facilities. In the first phase of construction, OmniaBio is building an 89,000-ft2 (7,432-m2) facility, which will be equipped with 15 clean rooms and employ 500 staff members. This first facility is expected to be completed in 2024. A second building is also planned. Upon completion, OmniaBio and CCRM will have more than 50 cleanrooms and more than 1000 employees.
1. CCRM, Funding from Ontario Government Launches OmniaBio Inc. Press Release, March 31, 2022.