Food In Canada


Bioniche opens animal vaccine manufacturing centre

New facility is largest of its kind in Canada

Belleville, Ont. – Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. has opened a new Animal Health and Food Safety Vaccine Manufacturing Centre in Belleville, Ont., making it the largest livestock vaccine production facility in the country.

Bioniche is a biopharmaceutical company that manufactures Econiche, an E. coli 0157 cattle vaccine to reduce the level of the pathogen in water, food and the environment.

The 5,000-L bacterial fermenter located within the new Bioniche production facility.

The new facility will allow Bioniche to develop and produce a wide variety of vaccines, including the possible development of vaccines for Salmonella and Rhodococcus equi. According to Mohamed Elrafih, the company’s vice-president of Manufacturing Operations, the Centre will employee 26 people, with an additional 15 to 20 employees expected to be hired over the next 18 months.

The Centre opens with the financial support, through repayable contributions, of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada, and Industry Canada.

“This government funding was critical to achieve our vision for a state-of-the-art Canadian vaccine manufacturing facility to produce a range of vaccines to prevent illnesses in animals and to reduce the likelihood of human illness from animal diseases,” says Graeme McRae, chairman, president and CEO of Bioniche. “We are proud of our internal Manufacturing Operations team that worked with a Montreal-based engineering firm and a Belleville-based general construction contractor to complete the project. Approximately 90 per cent of the equipment purchased for the facility was made in Canada.”

Above: Celebrating the Centre’s official opening were (left to right): Graeme McRae, chairman, president & CEO of Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.; Dr. Brett Finlay, professor, Michael Smith Laboratories and the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia; the Honourable Leona Dombrowsky, Ontario Minister of Education; Dr. Dragan Rogan, Bioniche’s chief veterinary scientific officer; Rick Culbert, president of Bioniche Food Safety; Mohamed Elrafih, Bioniche’s vice-president of Manufacturing Operations; and Daryl Kramp, MP for Prince Edward-Hastings MP.