Top News

BioVectra Inc. goes from garage in Charlottetown to global business

Jillian Brookinz, a technician at BioVectra Inc. in Charlotetown works at “downstream processing” recently.
Jillian Brookinz, a technician at BioVectra Inc. in Charlotetown works at “downstream processing” recently.

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE.I. - Some 45 years ago, Regis Duffy saw large-scale opportunity in the pharmaceutical and diagnostic marketplace and created the origins of BioVectra Inc. in a Charlottetown garage. In the ensuing decades, BioVectra has earned global recognition and a key role in Atlantic Canada’s bioscience sector.

New BioVectra president Oliver Technow and his executive team – a combination of company veterans and new hires from other parts of Canada - are ready to launch the company’s next stage of growth.

In the past year, BioVectra’s workforce has increased to almost 300, with plans for additional employees to be hired by 2018 in research and development, quality assurance and control, and production.

“A diverse staff, with employees from a variety of backgrounds and education, is a tremendous asset,” says Heather Delage, vice-president, business development. “The synergies will drive new ways of thinking, being creative and solving problems – plus build a pipeline of global partnerships.”

With the recent acquisition of its Windsor, N.S. facility, BioVectra now encompasses 110,000 square feet in four locations with infrastructure upgrades for specialized research and development, fine-chemical scale up and manufacturing, fermentation, and natural product extraction

BioVectra plans to grow its business by doubling revenue within the next five years. Key to this is its ability to build long-term relationships with top pharmaceutical/biotech companies seeking partners.

New BioVectra president Oliver Technow

“We specialize in comprehensive, highly transparent and client-centric partnerships beyond the traditional customer-vendor transaction,” says Technow, who was recently elected to the advisory council of the worldwide Drug, Chemical & Associated Technology Association. “We align our competencies with the partner’s goals, producing APIs at scale and ensuring supply chain security and final product quality.”

BioVectra’s east coast location has proven an advantage.

 “Customers may initially think it’s unusual to be located where we are,” says Delage,” but they quickly come to appreciate the Atlantic Canadian personality that goes the extra mile for clients. Plus we’re near several major markets, with operating costs highly competitive with other CDMOs.”  

Added to this is BioVectra’s intention to increase its visibility across North America through collaboration with others in the healthcare sector and working with provincial and federal stakeholders on strategic projects. “It will increase the long-term value of our biotech industry as a whole,” says Technow, “while showcasing the great talent our local bioscience cluster has to offer.”

BioVectra is the oldest and largest P.E.I.-based biotechnology company and is one of over 45 businesses that make up the P.E.I. Bioscience Cluster.

Margaret Magner, Ph.D., is a freelance journalist in Charlottetown. This is one of a series of articles on P.E.I.’s bioscience sector.

Recent Stories