Canadian biotech company opens doors to first-of-its-kind facility
“Despite the fact that biological protein therapeutics are seen as the future of medicine around the world and represent one-third of all drugs today - they are still not well understood by the average Canadian,” said Thomas Wellner, President & CEO of Therapure Biopharma Inc. “Therapure Biopharma is paving the way for Canadian innovators to continue developing protein-based therapies that make a difference in the lives of those affected by conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, asthma, and cancer.”
Biological proteins can have higher efficacy and fewer side effects than other pharmaceutical products, as they can be specifically targeted to address the cause of disease, rather than the treatment of its symptoms.
Arguably one of the first and most significant therapies derived from biological proteins was insulin, discovered in Ontario by now famous Canadian scientists Fredrick Banting and Charles Best at the University of Toronto in 1921. Dr. Banting and Dr. Best were able to isolate insulin from the inside of an animal pancreas. Today, insulin is considered one of the most groundbreaking achievements in the history of medicine.
“Therapure Biopharma is filling an enormous gap in Canada’s biotech industry,” said Bob Banting, great nephew of Dr. Frederick Banting, Canadian Nobel prize winner for the discovery of insulin. “My uncle faced the very challenges that Therapure Biopharma is addressing with their new business model. This facility will alleviate the need for Canadians to seek resources outside of the country in order to manufacture their products. They've essentially built a ‘field of dreams’ for start-up biotech companies.”
The process of manufacturing and regulating production of protein-based therapeutics is highly complex and many Canadian biotech companies struggle with access to capital and the lack of in-house production capabilities. On average it takes 7-10 years, and over $1 billion dollars to bring a product to market.
A major challenge in the Canadian biotechnology industry is that, like Dr. Banting and Dr. Best, Canadians are successful at reaching medical discoveries in the laboratory but have a limited ability to translate those discoveries into globally available commercial products. Canadian biotechnology companies often have to seek resources outside of Canada in order to launch commercially; as was the case for Dr. Banting and Dr. Best who had to partner with a U.S. company that had the capability to manufacture insulin on a global scale.
“The problem in Canada is that while exciting work on protein-based therapeutics takes place in the lab, there are significant regulatory and commercial hurdles to overcome to get the product approved for broad use in the general population,” said Mr. Wellner. “University scientists and emerging biotech companies need access to expertise to properly formulate, purify, manufacture and distribute the biological protein so that it can be used at the patient level – this is where Therapure Biopharma will have a huge impact globally.”
Located in Mississauga, Ontario, Therapure Biopharma’s unique and flexible 130,000 square foot cGMP manufacturing facility will generate a significant number of high quality value-added jobs for Ontarians.
Biotechnology In Canada
- Biotechnology is simply the use of living organisms or products to modify human health.
- In contrast to traditional pharmaceuticals that are chemically based, biotechnology products are created from biologically based raw materials.
- There are currently 532 biotech companies in Canada representing a $4.2 billion industry.
- Canadian biotech companies invest a total of $1.7 billion in research & development.
About Therapure Biopharma:
Therapure Biopharma Inc. is an integrated biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, purifies, and packages therapeutic proteins. Therapure Biopharma acquired its Canadian built and conceived facility from Hemosol Corporation, a specialist in therapies derived from hemoglobin, a blood protein. Therapure Biopharma applies scientific, manufacturing, and downstream purification expertise with an intimate understanding of advanced biology, complex proteins, and regulatory processes to develop effective and innovative solutions to advance products from discovery to market.
For more information, please visit: www.therapurebio.com