AstraZeneca Brings 500 Life Sciences Jobs To Ontario, Canada

In Ontario, AstraZeneca will expand its R&D operations, while Canada helps Stanpac scale up manufacturing of new compostable and recyclable packaging.

AstraZeneca will bring 500 high-tech jobs to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with an expansion of its research footprint in Canada. The investment will contribute to AstraZeneca’s Research & Development Hub in Mississauga, which focuses on leading global clinical studies in areas including breast, lung and prostate cancer, COVID-19, and chronic kidney disease. It also includes the creation of a new Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease Development Hub, focused on rare disease research.

AstraZeneca chose to invest in Ontario due to the network of world-class universities, hospitals, and research centers in the GTA and southern Ontario, and the region’s diverse scientific talent pool. The Ontario government’s recent introduction of the province’s first-ever life sciences strategy, as well as its commitment to grow the biomanufacturing footprint in the province and foster local innovation to improve healthcare, were also factors in the decision. Additionally, the Canadian government’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy further strengthens the nation’s position as a globally competitive player with an integrated research ecosystem focused on delivering the best of science and innovation.

AstraZeneca Canada
Global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca plans to expand its research operations and create 500 skilled scientific and research jobs in Mississauga, Ontario. (Photo: Invest Ontario)


“Our investment in the AstraZeneca R&D Hub and Alexion Development Hub will play a critical role in the development of new and innovative medicines aimed at treating, preventing and, in the future, potentially even curing complex diseases like cancer and rare diseases,” said Kiersten Combs, President, AstraZeneca Canada. “We’re pleased to see the steps that Governments at both the provincial and federal level have taken to create a more supportive environment for the biopharmaceutical industry, and although we know there is more work to do, we look forward to our continued collaboration to help improve the time for Canadian patients to access new medicines and build a more sustainable and resilient healthcare system.”

AstraZeneca’s Mississauga-based R&D Hub has doubled in size since 2019 and is currently leading more than 120 oncology and biopharmaceutical global clinical studies, involving patients in over 50 countries.

“To deliver better healthcare, it’s important to invest in our public, universal system – and it’s also important to continue rebuilding our biomanufacturing capacity and investing in research and development,” said Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. “That’s exactly why we’re here today: we’re positioning Canada as a world leader in the sector, delivering better health outcomes for Canadians, and creating good jobs now and into the future.”

“In order to protect Canadians’ health, our government has taken every action possible to be equipped with the best tools possible. That’s why we have worked closely with companies like AstraZeneca over the years,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada. “This investment shows that our efforts and hard work in the Canadian health sector are paying off by attracting major new investments from innovative global health leaders. We’re proud to see the results of our Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy, whilst creating hundreds of well-paying jobs in Mississauga.”

Canada Supports Niagara Region Job Creation

In the Niagara region, the Canadian government will invest nearly US$3.7 million for Stanpac to scale up the manufacturing of its new compostable and recyclable packaging and create 30 jobs. In addition to its Ontario operations, Stanpac has locations in Texas and New Jersey.

Stanpac manufactures dairy and beverage packaging for companies located throughout the U.S., Canada and worldwide. (Photo: Stanpac)

“This investment from FedDev Ontario has a significant impact on how Stanpac will be able to take our sustainable packaging innovations to market, not only here at home but to the more than 30 countries we export to presently, and beyond those to new markets,” said Matt Witt, Co-President, Stanpac Inc. “In addition, we will create more employment opportunities which in turn drive our continued sustainable packaging advances.”

Family-owned Stanpac is the largest manufacturing employer in Smithville, and an industry leader in paperboard and glass packaging for the dairy and beverage industry. The investment, through the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF), will support the purchase of cutting-edge, advanced manufacturing equipment to expedite Stanpac’s transition to sustainable packaging. The new machinery produces fully recyclable and compostable products, including a new paper-based bulk ice cream container. Also, with the many innovations Stanpac has in development, the opportunity exists to further reduce plastic from the supply chain by 2.5 million pounds annually. The new equipment will improve productivity, enabling Stanpac to deliver products to customers faster, while also reducing its carbon footprint.

Via the JGF, FedDev Ontario will deliver nearly US$165 million to help businesses in southern Ontario and the organizations that support them future-proof, build resiliency, and prepare for growth by transitioning to a green, inclusive and competitive economy. Since 2015, Canada has invested nearly US$581 million in more than 380 projects in manufacturing through FedDev Ontario, creating more than 10,400 jobs and maintaining more than 11,500.

“Ontario’s manufacturing industry is the engine that drives our national economy and our Government is investing in the people that make it run,” said Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “I’m honored to support Stanpac as they create good local jobs and develop greener packaging products. We will continue working together to deliver more for Canadians and grow an economy that works for everyone.”

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