2021-08-12| Manufacturing

Canada Signs Deal with Moderna to Build Vaccine Plant in the Country

by Judy Ya-Hsuan Lin
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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world’s economy, many countries are actively purchasing more vaccines from external manufacturers or pushing to authorize their indigenously manufactured candidates to meet vaccination demands. After suffering from vaccine shortages early this year, Canada has now struck a deal to bring a US biotech’s vaccine manufacturing capabilities directly into its soil.

On August 10th, Moderna signed an MoU with the government of Canada to build a state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in the country. After making its commercial debut with its COVID-19 vaccine, the Cambridge MA-based biotech grew leaps and bounds in terms of popularity and market performance. (opens in a new tab)

“I would like to thank the Government of Canada for the partnership they have built with us and for their faith in our data, science and early confidence in our mRNA platform in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna. “We recently announced data from the final analysis of the Phase 3 COVE study demonstrating that vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine showed 93% efficacy, with this efficacy remaining durable six months after administration of the second dose”.

“As a company, we are committed to global public health. While we are still responding to this pandemic, we also want to ensure we and society learn from it. As Moderna expands internationally, we are delighted to bring mRNA manufacturing to Canada. We believe that this innovative business model will have global impact and implications,” he added.


Canada’s Second Major mRNA Vaccine Deal

This is Canada’s second major deal within the last three months to increase mRNA vaccine production. Earlier, in May, the Canadian government announced a $199.2 million investment in National Resilience, Inc.’s Ontario-based subsidiary Resilience Biotechnologies Inc. to modernize and expand production capacity for vaccines. This is about half the cost of expanding its existing plant to make up to 640 million doses of mRNA vaccines every year.

In addition to these deals, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to rebuild the country’s flailing life sciences industry with a budget of $2.2 billion set apart for nurturing life science and biotech sectors over the next seven years.

Canada has also promised $126 million for a new National Research Council to build a biologics production plant in Montreal, that is set to make the Novavax vaccine, once it is approved. Besides, it will provide $400 million to help Sanofi complete a $925-million expansion of its vaccine production plant in Toronto.

The existing and future manufacturing plants will produce not only mRNA vaccines but also a portfolio of other vaccines against other respiratory diseases, such as seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus.

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