Medicago to build C$245m vaccine production facility in Quebec City, Canada

Will create 200 new highly skilled jobs by 2019

Canadian biotechnology firm Medicago is to build a new C$245m vaccine manufacturing facility in Quebec City, creating 200 new highly skilled jobs and more than doubling its workforce there by 2019.

Medicago expects the project to generate more than C$461m in economic benefits over the next five years.

The new 44,000m2 facility will be built in Quebec City's Estimauville innovation park and will house Medicago's head office, research and development activities, and commercial production plant.

Medicago produces vaccines and therapeutic proteins based on its proprietary Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) and manufacturing technologies. The new facility will give the company the capacity to deliver 40 to 50 million doses of quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccines, as well work towards developing new products.

Medicago's technology uses plants to quickly produce large quantities of vaccines or treatments. The technology enabled production of candidate vaccines for H1N1 in 2009 and H7N9 in 2013 in just 19 days, compared with several months required to produce vaccines using eggs.

In February this year Medicago won a contract from the US government to manufacture Ebola antibodies in its Quebec City pilot production plant for a study in non-human primates. The technology can quickly produce large amounts of antibodies, thereby boosting production volumes to increase stockpiles across the globe, the company said.

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