API and the University of Alberta Break Ground in Edmonton on Canada’s Largest Manufacturing Facility for Critical Medicines


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EDMONTON, AB, June 20, 2024 – Construction is set to begin on a crucial pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the Edmonton Research Park that will provide Canadians with access to a stable supply of high-demand, critical drugs at the most difficult of times.

A result of a collaboration between Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) and the University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, the Critical Medicines Production Centre (CMPC) is the cornerstone of the $200 million Canadian Critical Drug Initiative (CCDI) — a strategy devised in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to secure supply chain resilience and solidify Alberta’s and Canada’s position as a pharmaceutical leader.

Officially unveiled at today’s groundbreaking ceremony, the 83,000+ square-foot facility will be unique in Canada with its ability to produce more than 70 million doses of a product a year and a critical sprint capacity to fill the needs of Canada in under 100 days. Benefits include improved patient access to needed medicines, enhanced hospital operations, and the addition of much-needed capacity to produce and manufacture therapeutic drugs here at home. One of the first products of the facility, Propofol, is a critical hospital drug. Shortages of Propofol can lead to surgery cancellations and delays.

With support from all orders of government, CCDI is a significant contributor to Alberta’s burgeoning biomanufacturing and life sciences sector, creating more than 350 jobs in Alberta and notable additional employment in spin-off industries. Investment includes $80.5 million in federal funding through PrairiesCan, $17.6 million from the Government of Alberta, and City of Edmonton approval of the lease required to build the CMPC in the Edmonton Research Park.

Construction for the CMPC is set to be completed by 2026. See renderings courtesy of START Architecture and CRB Consulting Engineers, Inc. here


“The Critical Medicines Production Centre will be a game changer for the Prairies and all of Canada in producing critical, life-saving medicines. Our government is proud to partner with all levels of government, industry, and academia as we take this major step towards bringing new bio-manufacturing capacity to the province, creating high-value jobs for Albertans, and improving healthcare for everyone.” – The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan 

“With a growing cluster of health technology companies, a highly skilled workforce, and leading-edge organizations like the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute and Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation, Edmonton is becoming a global powerhouse in the life sciences sector. The Critical Medicines Production Centre will further cement this reputation and help ensure our country has a secure supply of locally manufactured medicines to meet the needs of Canadians, and beyond.” –The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

“Alberta is a leader in life science research and technology commercialization. Our investment in API will accelerate the development of new, groundbreaking medical technologies and strengthen Alberta’s healthcare system.” – Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation, Government of Alberta

“This groundbreaking marks a significant milestone for our city and region. Growing and diversifying Edmonton’s economy is a priority for City Council, so we’re thrilled that API and the University of Alberta are establishing the Critical Medicines Production Centre right here in the Edmonton Research Park. This project will result in strong jobs in R&D, and pharmaceutical manufacturing for Edmontonians today and in the future, and will help attract new talent to our burgeoning life sciences industry.” – Councillor Keren Tang, Ward Karhiio, City of Edmonton

“The Critical Medicines Production Centre will enable Alberta to produce a wide range of high-demand medicines. And it will do so much more than that – it will accelerate health innovation in the province, helping to further diversify Alberta’s economy, creating new jobs and opportunities for investment, and reducing barriers to commercialization and talent attraction.” – Aminah Robinson Fayek, Vice-President (Research and Innovation), University of Alberta

“The CMPC will catalyze the expansion of the life sciences industry and fortify Canada’s readiness against present and future pandemics as well as other threats that impact the global medicine supply chain. Additionally, it will drive the research and development of medications targeting prevalent diseases lacking preventive measures. Through these efforts, we aim to safeguard and enhance lives globally.” – Sir Michael Houghton, Director, Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, University of Alberta and Chief Scientific Officer, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation

“Alberta can and should be a leader in discovering and manufacturing the critical medicines that will save and improve lives. The CMPC and broader CCDI is a tremendous step forward towards building this role. This initiative will create potentially thousands of jobs in the life sciences sector, delivering substantial benefits to Canada’s life sciences ecosystem by attracting investment, fostering job creation, and retaining intellectual property and talent within the country. More importantly, it will provide access to life saving treatments when we need them most.” – Andrew Maclsaac, Chief Executive Officer, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation

For media inquiries, contact:

Tessa Vriend

Director, Engagement & Brand, API


Michael Brown

Media Strategist, University of Alberta