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Federal investments made into London-based pharma and economic corporation

Minister Filomena Tassi, back left, and London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos, back right, at Anvo Laboratories in London on July 12, 2023. Ryan Gauss (Twitter)

The federal government announced two significant investments in London, Ont., Wednesday centred around pharmaceuticals and electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

In the day’s first announcement, Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a $4 million investment into Anvo Laboratories (Anvo Labs).

A pharmaceutical company specializing in manufacturing and distributing high-quality generic and specialty products, Anvo Labs recently moved into a new 62,000-square-foot facility in London.

Minister Tassi says the investment will support Anvo Labs as it equips and staffs the new building.

“Anvo Laboratories is making incredible strides in the health sciences,” said Tassi. “Making smart investments in critical biomanufacturing will strengthen our health-care system and ensure everyone receives the care they deserve.”

Founded in 2020, Anvo is currently in the midst of a project that will aim to accelerate the production of specialized packaging for Canadian drug manufacturers and support made-in-Canada pharma production.

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The ministry adds the investment will help create 45 skilled jobs in London.

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The second announcement for Tassi in London on Wednesday was for a $300,000 investment into the London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) to support the growth of the EV sector in the region.

The LEDC will use the funds to expand collaboration with Volkswagen’s (VW) suppliers in Germany and Spain.

“The (LEDC) is forming the important partnerships that will empower 120 companies to integrate into Volkswagen’s global supply chain and make sure Canada is at the forefront of EV innovation and production,” said Tassi.

The Minister added the project by the LEDC will help connect Canadian companies with international partners for the growing EV battery sector.

London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos was also on hand for the announcements.

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“Today’s announcement brings great news for the London region, as it not only generates valuable local employment opportunities, but also represents a significant step towards supporting a greener future for southern Ontario,” said Fragiskatos.

Kapil Lakhotia, president and CEO of the LEDC, says he is “thrilled” with the news.

“(It) will be instrumental in fostering strategic partnerships, targeting prospective opportunities, (research and development) capabilities and strengthening our workforce development capacity within this emerging industry,” said Lakhotia.

In April, the federal and provincial governments, along with Volkswagen Group and PowerCO SE, officially announced the first-ever North American EV battery cell factory in St. Thomas, Ont.

Touted as a “gigafactory,” the major plant will cost $13 billion in subsidies for the German automaker and partners. Officials have said the cell factory alone will be the size of 210 soccer fields, with the complete park as large as 850 soccer fields.

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