The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre is proud to play a role in a wide range of research projects, some of which are profiled below.

Epigenetics may explain statins’ anti-inflammatory power

May 17, 2024 - “If we can understand more about how statins reduce inflammation at the molecular level, we may be able to design new drugs that can complement statins and enhance heart attack prevention."

The Ottawa Hospital’s new campus to become a hub for biotherapeutics research and manufacturing thanks to $59M grant

May 6, 2024 - The Ottawa Hospital is receiving $59 million to boost Canada’s capacity to develop and manufacture life-saving biotherapeutics, including vaccines, gene therapies and cell therapies.

First patient in Canada treated with phage therapy for artificial joint infection

Mar 14, 2024 - A research team lead by Dr. Marisa Azad at The Ottawa Hospital has treated the first patient in Canada with bacteriophage (phage) therapy for a chronic artificial joint infection.

The University of Ottawa partners with CASTL and The Ottawa Hospital to ready students for careers in biomanufacturing

Mar 13, 2024 - The University of Ottawa (uOttawa) has partnered with The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre and the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) to deliver a customized course as part of the university’s Microprogram in Biomanufacturing.

Tiny trailblazer: First baby treated in world-first trial for chronic lung disease

Jan 19, 2024 - Emmy Cogan was the first baby treated in a world-first clinical trial of a cell therapy for bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre makes ‘living therapies’ for people in Ottawa and beyond

Dec 15, 2023 - The Ottawa Hospital’s BMC is a hidden jewel that is helping Ottawa become a leading city for developing new therapies

Beyond the spike: novel COVID vaccine candidate targets 7 viral proteins for strong immune response

Nov 2, 2023 - Despite the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines in many countries, SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread and make people sick and new variants remain a significant threat. Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa believe they can counter this threat with a new vaccine candidate dubbed TOH-VAC-2. It generates a strong and multipronged immune response against seven different SARS-CoV-2 proteins, compared to typical COVID-19 vaccines which only target the spike protein.

Making ‘living therapies’: The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre plays critical role in Ontario life sciences sector

Oct 2, 2023 - Biotherapeutics have enormous potential to improve health and save lives and Ontario has the potential to lead the way in manufacturing these innovative therapies.

Next-generation cancer-fighting viruses could be fine-tuned with a pill

Jun 2, 2023 - Cancer-fighting (oncolytic) viruses can infect and kill cancer cells without harming normal tissues, while also delivering therapeutic / toxic genes to tumours and stimulating an anti-cancer immune response.

Dr. Piriya Yoganathan named one of Ottawa’s Forty Under 40

May 5, 2023 - This sought-after business award is a joint initiative of the Ottawa Board of Trade and Ottawa Business Journal.

Bringing cellular immunotherapy to solid tumours: made-in-Canada approach to be pioneered in biliary tract cancers thanks to $7.4M grant

Apr 13, 2023 - Canadians with biliary tract cancer (cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder) will have the first chance to benefit from a new made-in-Canada approach to personalized cellular immunotherapy, thanks to a $7.4 million grant from the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

First patient treated in world-first cell therapy trial to heal the lungs of preterm babies

Mar 23, 2023 - Researchers have treated the first patient in an innovative clinical trial of a cell therapy that aims to prevent very premature babies from developing a chronic lung disease called bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). This is the first trial of its kind in in the world.

The Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa, and McMaster University join forces to prepare Canada for future pandemics

Mar 2, 2023 - Building on the knowledge gained over nearly three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), the University of Ottawa and McMaster University are joining forces with partners to create the Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub (CP2H).

Potential colorectal cancer treatment combines immunotherapy and viral therapy in a powerful new way

Feb 16, 2023 - Immunotherapy is revolutionizing the treatment of many kinds of cancer, but for colorectal cancer, success has been limited to patients with rare genetic mutations. To tackle this challenge, researchers at The Ottawa Hospital engineered a new kind of viral therapy that attacks and kills colorectal cancer cells directly while also activating T cells – the body’s natural cancer-killers.

Made-in-Canada approach enhancing access to groundbreaking CAR-T cancer therapy

Jan 19, 2023 - Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital are partnering with colleagues across the country to expand access to new technology that turns patients’ immune cells into super-charged cancer-killers.

Clinical trial will test promising cell therapy for septic shock

Jan 19, 2023 - Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre was awarded $1.6 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Clinical Trials Fund to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in patients with septic shock.

CAR-T clinical trial provides ‘one last shot’ for leukemia patient

Jan 11, 2023 - Camille Leahy was out of options. Here's what led her to a Canadian-first CAR T-cell therapy clinical trial at our hospital.

Canadian-Led Immunotherapies in Cancer (CLIC) program inspires innovative CAR-T trial in Denmark

Dec 8, 2022 - CAR-T therapy is a groundbreaking cancer treatment that involves genetically engineering a patient’s own immune cells to attack their cancer. While this therapy is commercially available in many countries, cancer researchers are also developing their own versions as a way to bring more innovative therapies to patients locally.

Unique Hands-on Training Program in Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Expanding Across Canada

Sep 23, 2022 - Mitacs, in partnership with BioCanRx, has developed CanPRIME 2.0 — a national, first-of-its-kind initiative that will enable standardized, hands-on training to work in a biomanufacturing environment.

“Dream team” of researchers tackles leading cause of vision loss

Jul 27, 2022 - Dr. Catherine Tsilfidis has assembled a world-class team to bring discoveries with game-changing potential to patients with retinal disease

First made-in-Canada CAR-T cell therapy for cancer shows promise in clinical trial

Jun 17, 2022 - More than a dozen people with cancer who had exhausted all treatment options are alive and cancer-free today thanks to a pioneering Canadian clinical trial of a highly personalized kind of immunotherapy.

Ottawa Hospital researchers awarded $1.85M from Stem Cell Network

May 12, 2022 - Four research teams at The Ottawa Hospital have been awarded a total of $1.85 million to harness stem cells and regenerative medicine to develop new therapies for septic shock, bone and joint conditions, and newborn lung damage, while also advancing patient engagement in research.

Cancer-fighting viruses soften up their victims before attacking

Apr 7, 2022 - A research team based at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa has developed a virus that infects and kills cancer cells without harming normal cells, while also sending out signals to prepare nearby uninfected cancer cells for viral attack. Their new study, published in Nature Communications, shows that this novel strategy can shrink tumours and significantly prolong survival in several cancer models in mice.

First made-in-Canada CAR-T therapy gives lymphoma patient a third chance

Jan 10, 2022 - Faced with the return of his lymphoma for the third time in ten years, Owen Snider was running out of options. But there was new hope when he was accepted into a made-in-Canada CAR-T therapy clinical trial.

Made-in-Ottawa vaccine could help in global fight against COVID-19, including new variants

Dec 13, 2021 - As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread around the world, a vaccine developed and manufactured at The Ottawa Hospital could provide a unique approach to help control the pandemic. Unlike the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved by the World Health Organization, this new vaccine, dubbed TOH-Vac1, replicates inside the body’s cells.

Medicine’s future: living drugs

Nov 19, 2021 - The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre harnessing the life-saving power of biological therapies

COVID-19 booster shot study recruits Ottawa-area volunteers

Sep 29, 2021 - Ottawa-area adults who are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine are invited to participate in a clinical trial of a locally developed COVID-19 vaccine candidate, as a third dose or late booster vaccine. To be eligible, participants must have received their second mRNA vaccine dose at least four months ago, must be between the ages of 18 and 54, and must be in good health.

$2.4 M grant to help researchers develop gene and cell therapies for a leading cause of blindness

Sep 15, 2021 - A team led by Dr. Catherine Tsilfidis has received $2.4 M from the Ontario Research Fund to develop treatments for retinal diseases, a leading cause of blindness.

Biomanufacturing partnership boosts Canada’s life-saving treatment and vaccine capacity

Sep 13, 2021 - As Canada seeks to rebuild its biomanufacturing sector and support made-in-Canada solutions to global health challenges, The Ottawa Hospital, the University of Alberta and BioCanRx have collaborated to create Canada’s first full-service, end-to-end biomanufacturing solution for academic and industrial clients.

Biotherapeutics: the future of medicine

May 25, 2021 - World-class biotherapeutics facility at The Ottawa Hospital uses cells, genes and viruses to create unique life-saving treatments

Experts on call: Stem cells, gene therapy and biotherapeutics

Apr 22, 2021 - Could biotherapeutics be the key to the next wave of medical breakthroughs? Join this lively discussion to learn how researchers at The Ottawa Hospital are using biological materials like cells, genes and viruses to heal the body and fight disease.

Grateful COVID-19 patient gives back by participating in research

Apr 13, 2021 - Sharon Charlebois doesn’t remember much about the 25 days she spent at The Ottawa Hospital fighting a severe case of COVID-19 in January 2021. Now that she’s recovering at home with her husband, some memories come back to her in flashes.

The rise of point-of-care cell manufacturing

Mar 12, 2021 - Decentralized approach represents a paradigm shift in the way Canada studies, commercializes and delivers stem cell treatments for serious diseases

Ottawa-area residents invited to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trial

Mar 9, 2021 - Healthy adults are invited to participate in a clinical trial at The Ottawa Hospital to test a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by VBI Vaccines Inc., a biotechnology company with Ottawa-based research and development facilities.

Cancer team awarded $5M for cell-based immunotherapy research

Mar 3, 2021 - Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa are partnering with colleagues across the country to expand Canada’s capacity to develop new cell-based immunotherapies for cancer with a $5.2 million grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The Ottawa Hospital manufactures COVID-19 vaccines for clinical trials

Feb 25, 2021 - The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (BMC) is manufacturing three COVID-19 vaccines for human clinical trials, filling a critical gap in Canada’s vaccine manufacturing capacity.

One small step for blood cancer patients, one giant step for Canadian cancer patients of all stripes

Feb 25, 2021 - The Canadian-Led Immunotherapies in Cancer (CLIC) research program is building Canada’s capacity for innovation in CAR-T therapy, with support from BioCanRx, The Ottawa Hospital, BC Cancer and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Experimental stem cell therapy a potential weapon against COVID-19

Feb 1, 2021 - Drs. Duncan Stewart, Shane English, Dean Fergusson and colleagues have launched a clinical trial to test MSCs in people with severe COVID-19.

Vaccines and viral immunotherapies: unique Canadian program provides training to manufacture biotherapeutics

Nov 21, 2020 - As COVID-19 highlights the urgent need to increase vaccine manufacturing around the world, a unique training program is bolstering Canada’s capacity to manufacture vaccines, as well as viral immunotherapies for cancer and other emerging biotherapeutics.

$1M grant to support manufacturing of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines at The Ottawa Hospital and uOttawa

Nov 6, 2020 - Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa have been awarded $1,050,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support facilities for manufacturing innovative treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

Gene therapy for deadly newborn lung disease shows promise in mice

Oct 26, 2020 - One in a million babies are born with Surfactant Protein B deficiency, a genetic disorder in the lungs that will kill them before their first birthday. The only cure is a lung transplant.

The Ottawa Hospital and uOttawa launch new cancer immunotherapy research projects with funding from BioCanRx

Sep 22, 2020 - BioCanRx, Canada’s Immunotherapy Network, today announced funding of $10M for 14 cancer immunotherapy research projects and eight core and biomanufacturing facilities across the country. Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) are playing a key role in the following seven projects:

Harnessing cancer-fighting viruses to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

Jun 25, 2020 - Drs. Carolina Ilkow, John Bell and colleagues are harnessing their expertise in making oncolytic (cancer-fighting) viruses to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, in partnership with scientists and clinicians in Canada and around the world.

COVID-19 research on cell therapy, drug screening and marginalized populations funded through Ontario’s Rapid Research Fund

May 21, 2020 - Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, have been awarded almost $2 million from Ontario’s COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund for three research projects that could help in the fight against the virus. These three projects were among the first 15 proposals to receive funding from the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.

Cancer-killing viruses provide inspiration for COVID-19 vaccine

Apr 28, 2020 - While physical distancing has slowed the spread of COVID-19, the vast majority of people around the world remain susceptible to the virus. That’s why most experts believe we won’t be able to fully find a new normal until a vaccine is developed. At The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa, Dr. Carolina Ilkow and Dr. John Bell are harnessing their pioneering research on cancer-fighting viruses to create a vaccine for COVID-19, in partnership with colleagues across the country and around the world.

Harnessing stem cells and regenerative medicine to fight COVID-19

Apr 23, 2020 - Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa have been awarded $490,000 from the Stem Cell Network for two research projects that could help in the fight against COVID-19. These peer-reviewed grants are part of an overall investment by the Stem Cell Network of $675,000 in COVID-19 research across Canada.

Researchers join the fight against COVID-19

Apr 2, 2020 - As hospitals and communities band together to fight COVID-19, researchers at The Ottawa Hospital are harnessing their unique expertise and resources to help.

The promise of CAR-T therapy for cancer: meta-analysis shows the big picture

Aug 14, 2019 - CAR-T therapy, which uses a patient’s own genetically modified immune cells, is one of the most exciting advances in cancer treatment. To get a big picture view of the field, Drs. Manoj Lalu and Dean Fergusson led a team that analyzed data from nearly 1,000 patients who participated in 60 different CAR-T trials.

Patients and clinical trial experts key to upcoming made-in-Canada CAR-T clinical trial

Mar 1, 2019 - Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa are known around the world for their expertise in designing and leading clinical trials, and they're now applying this knowledge to create a made-in-Canada approach for CAR-T cell clinical trials. CAR-T therapy uses a patient's own genetically engineered immune cells to attack their cancer.

Experimental stem cell therapy tested for rare lung disease

Apr 30, 2018 - A Canadian-led research team has launched a clinical trial of an experimental stem cell therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension. This rare and deadly disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the lungs become so damaged that blood can’t flow properly to take up oxygen. It can strike anyone at any age, and typically affects women often in their prime. In some cases, pulmonary hypertension is caused by a defective gene, but in most cases the cause is unknown.