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Medicago's new production facility will make plant-based vaccines and therapeutics.
Medicago, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops novel vaccines and therapeutic proteins, plans to build a production facility for plant-based vaccines and therapeutics in Quebec City, the company announced on May 19, 2015. The C$ 245 million (US$ 200 million) project will create 200 jobs by 2019, adding to the team of 180 employees already working at Medicago's Quebec City office and laboratories.
The 44,000-m2 facility will be built in Quebec City's Estimauville innovation park and be completed by 2019. It will regroup Medicago's head office, R&D activities, and commercial production plant. It will have the capacity to deliver up to 40 to 50 million doses of quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccines. In addition, work towards developing new products will take place over the upcoming years.
Medicago's virus-like-particle (VLP), plant-based vaccine technology demonstrated its potential for responding to global pandemics when it produced candidate vaccines for H1N1 in 2009 and H7N9 in 2013 in just 19 days, compared to the several months required to produce vaccines using eggs.
Medicago was recently awarded a contract by the US government to manufacture Ebola antibodies in its Quebec City pilot production plant for a study in non-human primates. The technology used can quickly produce large amounts of antibodies, thereby boosting production volumes to increase stockpiles across the globe.
"We will export most of our vaccines to foreign markets, but we also believe our new production complex will help Canada meet its needs for seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines, in addition to strengthening the country's response to emerging diseases around the world," said Andy Sheldon, Medicago's CEO, in a press release.