TECHNOLOGY

Agreement with leading COVID­-19 vaccine developer Moderna, Inc. to build mRNA vaccine facility in Canada

@ Sadia haque
On 1oth August, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced a major milestone in Canada’s strategy to rebuild the biomanufacturing and life sciences sector. The Government of Canada has established a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with leading COVID-19 vaccine developer Moderna, Inc. to build a state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine production facility in Canada.
Canada has an impressive history in biomanufacturing and life sciences. However, a decades-long decline in the sector left Canada without the large-scale and flexible biomanufacturing capacity necessary to quickly produce a COVID-19 vaccine when the pandemic hit. This is why the government has worked tirelessly to rebuild Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing sector by focusing on both quick strategic actions and a long‑term vision. Since the start of the pandemic, over $1.2 billion has been invested to rebuild Canada’s vaccines, therapeutics and biomanufacturing capacity.
The MOU outlines how Moderna plans to establish a Canadian mRNA vaccine facility and work as a valued partner in Canada’s life sciences ecosystem by creating jobs and collaborating on domestic research and development. This partnership will help make sure Canada is more prepared for future pandemics, while creating good, highly skilled jobs.
Canada already has a strong foundation in mRNA research, development and commercialization. Canadian science excellence in vaccine technologies contributed to the discovery and use of mRNA technology, and Moderna, as a pioneering company, has always been at the forefront of its development. This announcement will contribute to the development of Canadian expertise and foster partnerships between the company and Canadian experts. This will help position Canada as an mRNA centre of excellence and a global mRNA research and development hub.
Moderna’s plans to establish an mRNA vaccine production facility in Canada align with the objectives of the recently announced Biomanufacturing and Life Science Strategy. The move will help strengthen the biomanufacturing and life sciences sector’s entire value chain—from research and development, to talent acquisition and retention, to increased clinical trial capacity—and make Canada’s overall industrial capability stronger.

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