Edmonton City Council has approved the lease needed for the Canadian Critical Drug Initiative manufacturing facility to be built in the Edmonton Research Park


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August 30th, 2023, Edmonton, AB – Today, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) and the City of Edmonton have finalized lease negotiations for the vacant land in the Edmonton Research Park. As a final step, Edmonton City Council’s Executive Committee approved the lease, which will allow API to build the manufacturing facility for the Canadian Critical Drug Initiative (CCDI). 

In late 2021, API formally launched the CCDI to create Canada’s first integrated research, commercialization and manufacturing cluster. In March of 2023, the Government of Canada invested $80.5M in the CCDI, allowing API to make significant progress on the project. 

The CCDI project is widely supported through economic development organizations such as Edmonton Global and Invest Alberta, the 14 municipalities of the Edmonton Region, industry partners and several post-secondary partners including the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, the University of Waterloo and Dalhousie University. 

This decision allows API to build and equip a new 40,000+ sq ft manufacturing facility that can produce small-molecule therapeutics from active pharmaceutical ingredients to finished product and increase API’s ability to support more companies through all phases of drug development, from early drug discovery to clinical trials to manufacturing. This will be a boon for Edmonton’s life sciences ecosystem – bringing in investment attraction, job creation, and keeping IP and talent local. API anticipates construction will be complete by 2026. 

Copy of DJI 0027 building (1)

Location of the CCDI manufacturing facility (in blue), Edmonton Research Park


“This is a major step for the Canadian Critical Drug Initiative. With the support of the City of Edmonton, construction of the CCDI manufacturing facility can begin in the Spring, meaning we’re that much closer to integrating world-class research, talent, and manufacturing to develop critical drugs, create jobs, and attract investment to our region.” 

Andrew MacIsaac, CEO of Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation

“It is rewarding to see Edmonton at the centre of innovation. With the Canadian Critical Drug Initiative establishing its manufacturing facility at the Edmonton Research Park, we will keep local talent, create great job opportunities in western Canada, and help drive Canada’s economy. This project will be a catalyst for larger scale commercialization and position Canada as a leader in the global life science technology production market.”

Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

“Today, with the support of my Council colleagues, we are one step closer to seeing a manufacturing facility creating critical drugs in the heart of the Edmonton region. The CCDI manufacturing facility will not only help us deliver on the outcomes of Edmonton’s Economic Action Plan, our 10 year economic development strategy, but will build on the $7.8B in GDP that is generated by this sector in the region to further our diversification efforts. We are a city of innovators and change makers, and this development in the Edmonton Research Park will ensure that we continue to build an even greater life science economy now and for our future.”

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, City of Edmonton

“This is great news, as we are one step closer to bringing the vital Canadian Critical Drug Initiative to life. The creation of the CCDI facility will give the university’s world-class faculty and staff the ability to research, test, and manufacture life-saving drugs and medical treatments, which will benefit people around the world. This will solidify Alberta’s position as a biotechnology hub, and it is exciting to see the project progress.” 

Bill Flanagan, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta 

“This is a significant day for our life sciences ecosystem. There is a sizable gap in our ability to translate research and IP to commercialization, to move the tremendous research coming from our institutions through the clinical and regulatory stages to be able to turn them into the innovative medicines that help people every day. The CCDI manufacturing facility is going to be critical to ensure that future novel medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics from the Li Ka Shing research pipeline move through to commercialization. I’d like to express my thanks to the City of Edmonton for their support.”

Dr. Michael Houghton, co-recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in medicine, director of the LKSAVI and professor of medical microbiology and immunology

“I am thrilled that the City of Edmonton has approved the lease for the CCDI Manufacturing facility as Edmonton is home to world-class research institutions. The CCDI manufacturing facility is a game-changer for the development of critical drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics. It will go a long way in boosting the competitiveness of our life sciences industry.”

Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Alberta and Founding Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology