NGen Investments Support Canada’s Growing Biomanufacturing Sector
The partners will develop engineered industrial microorganism platform strains aimed to support both companies’ proprietary biomanufacturing processes.
HAMILTON, Ontario, September, 15, 2022 — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Global Innovation Cluster for Advanced Manufacturing has announced an investment of $250K to support a $500K project led by Mediphage Bioceuticals, Inc. (Toronto, ON) in collaboration with Ardra Inc. (Toronto, ON). The partners will develop engineered industrial microorganism platform strains aimed to support both companies’ proprietary biomanufacturing processes. These platform strains can be used to biomanufacture a broad range of products, including Mediphage’s ministring DNA (msDNA) for therapeutic applications and Ardra’s natural ingredients used in the food industry.
The introduction of platform strains designed and developed through this project will improve Ardra’s current biomanufacturing process by increasing its efficiency and robustness at scale. For Mediphage, large-scale production of msDNA-based therapeutics will be conducted using strains optimized to further leverage production at research-scale through commercial-scale production.
“This exciting collaboration between Mediphage Bioceuticals and Ardra is another example of government supporting innovative Canadian companies to overcome manufacturing challenges and scale up the production of homegrown innovations,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This project will truly help to strengthen Canada’s impressive biomanufacturing sector.”
“Canada has a long and impressive history in life and health sciences innovation,” said Jay Myers, CEO, NGen. “We are pleased to continue this tradition with support for our partners Mediphage and Ardra who are delivering game-changing innovations with a wide range of commercial applications across many sectors.”
Mediphage’s CEO, Alvaro Amorrortu, said in a statement “This funding provides the financial support to innovate and strengthen the biomanufacturing activities for both companies and to build a stronger biotech and biomanufacturing ecosystem in Canada, leveraging the talent of Canadian scientists and the innovation happening in Canada’s academic institutions.”
“We are glad to receive this funding support from NGEN to support biomanufacturing in Canada. We also look forward to extending our collaboration with Mediphage on solving diverse challenges through engineering biology,” said the CEO of Ardra Inc., Pratish Gawand.
Though Ardra and Mediphage are engaged in two different industries, advanced genetic engineering of strains is a commonality that can be used for the production of their respective products. Given the shared challenges faced by Ardra and Mediphage in developing biomanufacturing processes, this project allows the groups to combine efforts in streamlining the optimization of production strains and manufacturing parameters to effectively scale up production of proteins and msDNA alike. Towards this, the focus is on developing a platform for rapid construction and testing of production strains and inducible promoters to support commercial-scale manufacturing. The outcomes of this collaboration represent a foundation for the scaled up production of these homegrown innovations, applied to novel products addressing high-demand food industry and biopharmaceutical needs.
Mediphage, a genetic medicine company headquartered in Toronto, is developing a non-viral gene delivery platform based on its proprietary ministring DNA (msDNA) technology. The msDNA platform is both safe and versatile, with applications in gene therapy, ex vivo and in vivo gene editing, viral vector production, and DNA vaccines. Internally, Mediphage is focused on developing msDNA-based therapies for CNS and liver indications. Externally, Mediphage is collaborating with large pharma and biotech companies to develop therapeutics for CNS & liver indications, and expand therapeutic gene editing applications. Learn more at mediphage.ca
Ardra Inc. is a synthetic biology company based in Toronto, Ontario and Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Ardra makes high-value natural ingredients using synthetic biology, and is developing a broad portfolio of natural ingredients used in food, flavor, and perfumery. Learn more at ardrabio.com
Director, Strategic Communications, NGen