Canadian government to provide $173M in funding for vaccine research and development, and domestic manufacturing capacity
QUEBEC CITY, October 23rd, 2020 – Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement to supply the Government of Canada with up to 76 million doses of its vaccine against COVID-19, subject to Health Canada approval. Medicago will also receive $173M in funding support from the Government of Canada for its vaccine research and development, and for the construction of its Quebec City manufacturing facility.
“We are proud to contribute a made-in-Canada vaccine to our country’s vaccine supply, and we want to thank the Government of Canada for its confidence in Medicago,” said Dr. Bruce Clark, President and CEO of Medicago.
Medicago’s innovative plant-based platform is a powerful tool that is being used to develop and, upon regulatory approval, produce vaccines helping to increase Canada’s self-reliance for pandemic response. The government’s investment not only supports Medicago’s research and innovation, but it also reinforces the Canadian economy, our scientific ecosystem and our domestic pandemic response capabilities.
“Our government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Today’s contribution will support breakthrough Canadian technology to advance the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 and support biomanufacturing capacity for a Made-in-Canada solution.”
“This agreement between the Government of Canada and Medicago ensures that Canadians will have access to another promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Medicago is working diligently right here in Canada to support the response to COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Canadians,” said the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
“Medicago’s team is committed to being part of the global effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and we look forward to the day where our vaccine is approved and we are supplying it both in Canada, and beyond our borders” said Clark.
On March 12, Medicago announced the successful production of coronavirus Virus-Like Particle (VLP) in just 20 days after receiving the virus gene, thus having a viable vaccine candidate for COVID-19. Medicago initiated pre-clinical trials with the financial support from the Government of Quebec and began Phase 1 testing on July 14 in human volunteers. Medicago plans to initiate Phase 2 trials in early November, and Phase 3 trials shortly after, in December 2020.
“We are confident that our vaccine candidate will succeed, and we look forward to communicating Phase 1 results in the coming weeks.” said Nathalie Landry, Executive Vice President, Scientific and Medical Affairs at Medicago.
Medicago’s first product, a seasonal recombinant quadrivalent VLP vaccine for active immunization against influenza, is currently under review by Health Canada following the completion of an extensive safety and efficacy clinical program involving over 25,000 patients.
Medicago is grateful for the financial support of its main shareholder, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC), and minority shareholder, Philip Morris International (PMI).
Medicago is a biopharmaceutical company and pioneer in plant-based therapeutics technology. Founded in 1999 with the belief that innovative approaches and rigorous research would bring new solutions in healthcare.
Our mission is to improve global health outcomes by leveraging innovative plant-based technologies for rapid responses to emerging global healthcare challenges. Medicago is committed to advancing therapeutics against life-threatening diseases worldwide. Our team includes over 450 scientific experts and employees in Canada and the United States and academic affiliations in Europe and South Africa.
Medicago has previously demonstrated its capability to be a first responder in a flu pandemic. In 2009, the company produced a research-grade vaccine candidate against H1N1 in just 19 days. In 2012, Medicago manufactured 10 million doses of a monovalent influenza vaccine candidate within one month for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense. In 2015, Medicago also demonstrated in principle that it could rapidly produce an anti-Ebola monoclonal antibody cocktail for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information: www.medicago.com