A Singapore-based company that cuts costs for small- and medium-sized biotech firms is setting up its North American headquarters in Edmonton.
Celero Global facilitates clinical trials, promising "a pathway to high-quality, cost-controlled, accelerated trials" for healthcare startups aiming to take products to market.
The company chose the Edmonton region because of its "growing importance as a hub for innovation and research in the life sciences sector," CEO Adham Rezk said in a release. He did not attend the Sept. 26 announcement at Edmonton Global, but sent a video message outlining what made Edmonton attractive.
Celero has completed 80 clinical trials in more than 25 countries. Its advantages are the ability to run Phase 1 trials cheaper than its competitors; its expertise in getting pharmaceuticals ready for regulatory bodies like Health Canada; and a soup-to-nuts approach to doing business with clients, said Robert Sikora, senior manager of business development for Edmonton Global.
"They're not just stopping once the clinical trial is done," Sikora told Taproot. "(Celero) helps them commercialize and scale up."
He said he expects Celero to get started here in the next three to six months. The first clinical trial it will work on will likely be on obesity or nephrology, the study of kidneys.
The average clinical trial costs $15 million, and $9 million of that "goes directly back into the regional economy," said Edmonton Global CEO Malcolm Bruce.
The announcement took place during Life Sciences Week, a province-wide series of events coordinated by Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation, a not-for-profit that promotes the commercialization of life sciences in the Edmonton region.
API kicked off the week with the announcement of Nobel laureate Michael Houghton as its new chief scientific officer. Houghton is a much-accomplished virologist and professor at the University of Alberta who has served as a scientific advisor for API since 2021.
Other events coming this week include:
- Sept. 27, 12pm: Life Sciences over Lunch: Entrepreneurs Growing Tech Companies in Alberta, presented by Technology Alberta at the Edmonton Research Park
- Sept. 27, 4pm: Startup TNT Happy Hour– Life Sciences Edition at Red Star
- Sept. 28, 7am: Breakfast Panel: Aging with Technology, presented by Health Cities at Edmonton Unlimited
- Sept. 28, 1pm: Health and Life Sciences Showcase and Awards Dinner, presented by BioAlberta at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald