The Moderna plant in Montreal could produce 100 million doses of vaccines per year

The modern pharmaceutical company confirmed Friday that it will build a vaccine manufacturing facility in Montreal that will eventually produce up to 100 million doses of the vaccine per year. The announcement comes the same day the multinational applied to Canada for approval of its COVID-19 vaccine for very young children.

“Quebec has won the battle for Moderna’s establishment,” Quebec Premier François Legault said during the announcement. Smiling, he was speaking after his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, who, after stressing the company’s importance in curbing the spread of COVID-19, said his arrival “will create hundreds of good jobs. “.

The announcement, which took place at McGill University’s Life Sciences Complex, was expected in August. The federal government and Moderna then signed an agreement in which the company committed to setting up a factory in Canada.

The Montreal pharmaceutical factory could eventually produce 100 million doses of the vaccine per year, both for COVID-19 and other viruses such as the flu.

Both the provincial and federal governments will participate in financing the facilities, the cost of which is estimated at $ 180 million. Construction of the plant is expected to start this year.

A biotechnology company founded in 2010 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Moderna specializes in the research and development of messenger RNA-based therapies. In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, the company is conducting about forty programs and twenty clinical trials at the same time.

Establish yourself in the scientific community

“The Government of Canada has been one of our first important partners since the beginning of the pandemic,” recalled Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna.

The sums advanced by the government then made it possible to accelerate the research by purchasing the equipment then necessary, he specified. The Montreal plant will produce vaccines not only against COVID, but also against other respiratory and infectious diseases.

” [Elle] it will allow us to be prepared for possible epidemics or pandemics. The Cambridge firm hopes to build bridges with Canadian university researchers: “In Canada, there are scientists who have worked all their lives on a virus and [ils] know this virus by heart. To do this, Moderna would make its technologies available to them, the result of significant investments, Bancel noted. At the start of the pandemic, about three billion dollars were injected to develop them.

In return, the scientists “bring their knowledge and their knowledge of their virus that we don’t have. […] There are scientific skills in universities that I think are not used enough in the traditional pharmaceutical world, “he said.

The official announcement of Moderna’s arrival in Montreal was made the same day the drugstore applied for approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for very young children at Health Canada.

The drug had made a similar request to the United States Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday.

Moderna’s vaccine candidate is for children 6 months to 5 years old. The company says a clinical study of 6,700 children concluded the vaccine was safe and determined that it produced a similar antibody response to that seen in adults.

Note: Clinical trials in young children took place mainly during the wave of the Omicron variant, and the vaccine was less effective in preventing infection in children than in previous clinical trials in adults.

A single dose for children under 6 years of age is 25 micrograms, one quarter the dose given to adults and adolescents and half the dose used for children aged 6 to 11 years.

With the Canadian press

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