QUEBEC CITY — Canadian biotech firm Medicago recently announced it has broken ground on a new commercial vaccine production facility in Quebec City.
The factory will come into operation in the winter of 2021 and the first doses of vaccines from the new plant are expected for the 2023 influenza season, said a Sept. 18 release.
Valued at $245-million, the 44,000-square-metre manufacturing complex will be located in the Estimauville Innovation Area in Quebec City, and will include the company’s headquarters as well as research and development and production facilities.
Medicago plans to produce 40 to 50 million doses of quadrivalent vaccines against seasonal influenza annually at the plant. In case of a pandemic, the factory will be able to produce a vaccine in five to six weeks, compared to five to six months for traditional vaccine technologies, the firm said.
In attendance for the groundbreaking ceremony were Masayuki Mitsuka, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, and Regis Labeaume, mayor of Quebec City.
The plant is intended to be able to meet Canadian vaccine demand and also contribute to the export market, said the statement. The new facility will supplement existing production from a plant in Durham, N.C.
The governments of Quebec City, Quebec and Canada are all contributing to the project.
Medicago plans to invest close to $800 million in capital and operating expenses in its Quebec City operations over the next 10 years, the statement noted.
“The City is proud to contribute to the Medicago project, which will occupy the entire Estimauville Innovation Space once construction is complete and will generate major economic spin-offs for the region. It is a cornerstone of our Quebec 2023 Entrepreneurial Vision and confirms our choice to have invested in research and innovation,” said Labeaume in the statement.