The acquisition includes expansive, purpose-built, wet and dry lab space and will triple the company’s Canadian footprint and expand its research services in health and nutrition, allowing the company to double the number of research trials conducted on an annual basis.
Dr John Buchanan, CEO of the CAT, confirmed that the transaction with Elanco was closed on 21 February.
“We are experiencing exciting growth in our aquaculture health and nutrition research services business and have immediate plans for use of the facility,” said Buchanan. “Expanding our footprint will allow our team to meet the demands of the global aquaculture community on a larger scale. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our offerings and add to our world-class team.”
The acquisition comes shortly after Dr Jason Cleaversmith was hired as the company’s vice president of health and nutrition and general manager of Canadian operations. He brings more than 17 years of experience in aquaculture management and will oversee operations at the new facility.
“The Victoria site has a long history of setting the gold standard for pivotal regulatory trials and innovation, and CAT is fortunate to have been able to acquire this state-of-the-art facility, along with several staff who are well versed in operating in a quality-centric, highly regulated environment. This is a timely and exciting addition to the CAT facility network,” said Cleaversmith.
With the addition of the new facility, the only other privately held Aquatic Animal Pathogen Containment level 3 (AQC3/BSL3) certified lab space in Canada, CAT will oversee the largest amount of AQC3 certified square footage in the world, enabling the company to scale its research activities involving domestic and imported aquatic animals, and aquatic animal pathogens.
The Victoria site will operate in addition to the CAT research aquarium and labs in Souris, PEI and San Diego, California. The Government of Prince Edward Island will support the project with a repayable loan of $4 million from the PEI Century Fund.
“The Center for Aquaculture Technologies provides vital research and development for the aquaculture industry in our province,” said Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture, Matthew MacKay. “We are proud to support CAT’s expansion, that will keep jobs in the community.”
In addition to expertise in fish health and nutrition, CAT’s team of researchers in Canada and the US offer specialised services in the fields of genotyping, diagnostics, breeding, genomics and molecular biology.