The Government of Canada is actively pursuing the purchase and development of vaccines, treatments, and related supplies to protect Canadians from the virus and support our recovery from the pandemic. This includes investing in Canadian projects, and strengthening our country’s biomanufacturing sector and capabilities to fight future pandemics through leading-edge vaccine technology.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an investment of up to $173 million through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) in Quebec City-based Medicago to support Canada’s response to COVID-19 and future preparedness. The project, valued at a total of $428 million, will advance Medicago’s virus-like particle vaccine, developed on the company’s unique plant-based production platform, through clinical trials. It will also establish a large-scale vaccine and antibody production facility to increase Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing capacity.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to Canada’s commitment to evidence-based solutions to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
“As we continue to safely restart our economy, we will do whatever it takes to protect Canadians from COVID-19 and build a country that is healthier and safer for everyone. This is why we are supporting our biomanufacturing sector, through companies like Medicago and Precision NanoSystems, to develop a reliable, made-in-Canada vaccine.”
The government has signed an agreement with Medicago to secure up to 76 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate, enough to vaccinate 38 million people. This is the first domestically developed vaccine candidate the Government of Canada has secured.
The government will also invest up to $18.2 million in Vancouver-based biotechnology company Precision NanoSystems Incorporated (PNI) through the SIF. This investment will support a $24.27-million project to help advance the development of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate through pre-clinical studies and clinical trials. The government is also providing up to $23.2 million in funding through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program to advance six COVID-19 vaccine candidates in various stages of clinical trials.
The Government of Canada has now signed agreements with Medicago, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Pfizer, and Moderna. Agreements signed to date will secure access to up to 358 million doses of their different COVID-19 vaccine candidates. At this time, there are three vaccine candidates currently under review and many others in clinical trials and in development.