Alliance CCRM MbD logos

Medicine by Design and CCRM are building on their existing partnership to launch Medicine by Design’s next phase of growth.

With a new strategic alliance, which was announced today at Medicine by Design’s 8th Annual Symposium, the two organizations will come together to build upon their strengths: bridging high risk, high reward research to industry expertise, biomanufacturing infrastructure and the clinic. Key partners also include the University Health Network (UHN), and Medicine by Design’s founding institution, the University of Toronto (U of T).

This alliance is set to unlock Toronto’s potential as a globally-leading ecosystem for regenerative medicine by creating coordinated, end-to-end capacity that spans discovery through to clinical translation and commercialization.

“Medicine by Design has its deep academic network and track record of supporting world-class research across the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN). CCRM has 12 years of success in launching and scaling cell and gene therapy companies at the interface of academia and industry,” says Allison Brown, executive director of Medicine by Design. “With this alliance, CCRM is making an investment to sustain Medicine by Design’s discovery programs well into the future. It will enable us to build upon a strong regenerative medicine pipeline of breakthrough technologies and therapies that will ultimately provide health and economic benefits to Canada and the world.”

Launched in 2015 with the support of a $114-million investment from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), Medicine by Design has made large-scale, strategic investments in high-risk, high-reward research; recruited world-class faculty; and provided training programs to thousands of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and other highly qualified personnel at U of T and its affiliated hospitals.

“This strategic alliance,” says Michael May, president and CEO of CCRM, “is important to enable the sustainability of Medicine by Design beyond the CFREF investment that launched it.”

He adds that collaborations such as the one between CCRM and Medicine by Design help to ensure that the life-saving potential of regenerative medicine is reached and that a talent pool is developed that will position Canada as a leader in the global cell and gene therapy industry.

“We can make significant progress if we’re aligned,” says May. “Medicine by Design and CCRM, put together, represent an end-to-end perspective of the bench to bedside process — research and discovery to company development to manufacturing to bringing the therapy to market. We have exciting plans for this alliance.”

May adds that this partnership will build stronger linkages between CCRM and the curated regenerative medicine discovery pipeline that Medicine by Design has built and, more broadly, leverage both U of T’s and UHN’s reputation for world-class research, medicine and a combined network of regenerative medicine-focused faculty, clinicians, as well as key opinion leaders, social scientists and other non-STEM investigators.

Leah Cowen, Vice-President, Research & Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives at U of T says large scale initiatives like Medicine by Design and its strategic alliance with CCRM are an important part of the University’s strategic plan, bringing both direct and indirect benefits to driving academic-led innovation.

“In addition to the investment into Medicine by Design, for U of T, this partnership unlocks a global network of biomanufacturing expertise, infrastructure and a network of industry partners that expand beyond regenerative medicine – a strategic benefit to the research and clinical communities in Toronto,” says Cowen.

Brad Wouters, a member of Medicine by Design’s executive committee, says the alliance will facilitate access to funding and infrastructure for the clinical translation of new cell and gene therapies being developed by Toronto investigators. It will also continue Medicine by Design’s vital role as a strategic hub for regenerative medicine researchers and clinicians in Toronto.

“Toronto is known globally for the strength of our stem cell and regenerative medicine accomplishments. UHN is excited to build on our existing partnerships with CCRM through the Centre for Cell and Vector Production and Medicine by Design to support this strategic alliance and its goals to create end-to-end capacity in our ecosystem to create new medicines that will have global patient impact,” says Wouters, who is executive vice president, science and research at UHN. “From discovery through to clinical validation and manufacturing, we look forward to advancing the next generation of living therapies for our patients.”

About Medicine by Design
At Medicine by Design, scientists, engineers and clinicians conceive and translate regenerative medicine approaches to transforming human health. Medicine by Design has advanced more than 180 research projects, integrating multi-disciplinary experts into ground-breaking efforts to cure intractable chronic diseases, enable dysfunctional organs to repair themselves; reverse damage caused by aging; and engineer tissues to resist infections or cancer.

About CCRM
CCRM is a global, public-private partnership headquartered in Canada. It receives funding from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and leading academic and industry partners. CCRM supports the development of regenerative medicines and associated enabling technologies, with a specific focus on cell and gene therapy. A network of researchers, leading companies, investors and entrepreneurs, CCRM accelerates the translation of scientific discovery into new companies and marketable products for patients with specialized teams, dedicated funding and unique infrastructure. In 2022, CCRM established OmniaBio Inc., a commercial-stage CDMO for manufacturing cell and gene therapies. CCRM is the commercialization partner of the University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design. CCRM is hosted by the University of Toronto. Visit us at