Vaccine Production Plant | Moderna will be based in Montreal

(Ottawa) Pharmaceutical giant Moderna has made its choice. Montreal will house the RNA vaccine manufacturing facility the biotech plans to open in Canada, it has been learned The press. A resolution that leads to the first meeting on the same platform between Justin Trudeau and François Legault since the federal elections of September 20, 2021.

Posted at 4:43pm
Updated at 4:48 p.m

Joel Denis Bellavance

Joel Denis Bellavance
The press

Tommy Chouinard

Tommy Chouinard
The press

Montreal thus outweighs the Toronto region, which has also been in the running to receive the “hundreds of millions of dollars” in investments the company plans to make in the country over the next few years.

According to our information, this news, which has been awaited by the pharmaceutical industry for several months, will be confirmed on Friday in the metropolis by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his Quebec counterpart François Legault and Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel.

This announcement will also be attended by influential ministers from the two capitals, notably the German Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, and the Legault Government’s Economy Minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon.

“Moderna chose Montreal,” he said The press a source familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly about Friday’s announcement. In the Legault government, we bomb the chest. “Quebec defeated Ontario! ‘ hailed a source.

This announcement is the culmination of several months of discussions and debates between Mr. Champagne and Moderna’s CEO. Mr. Champagne is considered by some to be the modern-day CD Howe of the Trudeau administration, having made remarkable efforts to boost Canada’s economy through strategic investments in key sectors such as biomanufacturing, transportation electrification, the battery sector for zero-emission vehicles, as well as access to High speed internet in all regions of the country.

This announcement also marks a milestone in the Trudeau administration’s efforts to rebuild the country’s biological manufacturing and life sciences sector. It will help consolidate the pharmaceutical industry ecosystem in the Montreal region.

Keep in mind that Moderna is one of the top two makers of COVID-19 messenger RNA vaccines in the world — the other being Pfizer/BioNTech. The vaccines produced by these two companies have been used by many countries to vaccinate their populations, including Canada and the United States. In Canada, too, the provinces used the protein-based vaccine from the Swedish-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca at the beginning of the vaccination campaign.

All indications are that the federal government will commit to buying, among other things, a lot of the vaccines produced in Moderna’s new facilities over the next few years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted Canada’s vulnerability in a number of ways, including the lack of local production of effective coronavirus vaccines and the lack of production of personal protective equipment by Canadian companies, among others. .

From the start, Montreal had a head start over other Canadian cities when it came to hosting Moderna’s new facilities. The importance of the pharmaceutical sector in metropolitan Québec obviously had a positive effect.

The pharmaceutical company’s CEO announced Moderna’s intention to establish itself in Canada last August in Montreal. But Stéphane Bancel had indicated that before making his decision he would weigh the pros and cons of the cities in the running.

The company then applied to the Quebec government for funding for its project, with no guarantee that Montreal would ultimately be selected. Investissement Québec is thus involved in the financial design of the project.

A decision was expected before the end of 2021, but Moderna was forced to postpone the whole thing due to the virulence of a new wave of COVID-19 that then hit the continent dominated by the Omicron variant.

In addition to its COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna has 24 vaccines and therapeutics in development, including vaccines for influenza, RSV, cytomegalovirus, Zika and HIV, and also manufactures treatments for cancer and heart disease.

The Montreal election provokes an announcement that is not lacking in spice from a political point of view. Justin Trudeau and François Legault met on the same platform for the first time seven months after the general election. During the election campaign, Mr. Legault had expressed his preference for a conservative minority government in a rarely seen intervention by a Quebec premier. He had asked Quebecers to be “cautious” about Justin Trudeau, whose program was “centralizing” and “dangerous.” His exit had apparently outraged the federal liberals.

In conversation with The pressIn August, Minister François-Philippe Champagne said at Moderna’s announcement that he wanted to ensure that in the event of another pandemic, Canada would never again be dependent on factories producing vaccines abroad.

“We did not choose the timing of the pandemic. It is obvious that we will not choose the next time either. But there is one thing we can choose, and that is to be better prepared and more resilient. And that’s exactly what we’re doing,” he said.

“All G7 countries want these companies to be established in their country. Moderna is well-established in the United States, but this is the first time the company has agreed to set up an RNA vaccines center of excellence in another country. When we talk about RNA vaccines, that’s the future. Yes, there is the COVID-19 vaccine. But she also conducts research into the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Having this here in the local manufacturing ecosystem is definitely a huge win for Canada,” he also said.

The federal government last year invested $126 million to build the National Research Council of Canada’s new laboratory in Montreal, where the company Novavax is making its vaccine against COVID-19. This protein-based vaccine was approved by Health Canada in February and is now being used in Quebec. Novavax produces about two million doses of its vaccine each month at its Montreal facilities.

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