Since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has worked quickly to strengthen and expand our capacity to manufacture safe and effective vaccines, treatments, and related supplies across the country. This includes investing in made-in-Canada projects to protect Canadians from COVID-19 and ensure our country is well-positioned to fight future pandemics here at home.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Novavax to pursue the production of its COVID-19 vaccine at the National Research Council of Canada’s Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Montréal.
“Today, we are investing in our biomanufacturing capacity so that we have the made-in-Canada vaccines and treatments we need to protect Canadians”, said Justin Trudeau.
The Prime Minister also announced investments to support vaccine, therapeutic, and biomanufacturing projects in Canada. These include:
- Up to $25.1 million to Precision NanoSystems Incorporated (PNI), a Vancouver-based biotechnology company, to expand our ability to produce ribonucleic acid vaccines and future genetic medicines in Canada. PNI will build a $50.2 million biomanufacturing centre to produce vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of diseases such as infectious diseases, rare diseases, cancer and other areas of unmet need.
- Up to $14 million to Edesa Biotech Inc. (Edesa), a biopharmaceutical company based in Markham, Ontario, to advance work on a monoclonal antibody therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is the leading cause of COVID-19 deaths. Edesa’s $18.7 million project has received Health Canada approval to conduct its phase 2 clinical trials, and has begun administering its treatment to clinical trial participants in Canada.
The Government of Canada will always rely on science- and evidence-based decision-making. This is why the investments and the actions of the government are informed by the recommendations of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutics Task Forces and COVID-19 Joint Biomanufacturing Subcommittee. We will continue to partner with Canadian industry and businesses to protect Canadians from COVID-19, and to build our biomanufacturing capacity as part of our recovery plan. Together, we can build a country that is healthier and safer for everyone.