Moderna finalizes plan for ten-year strategic partnership with the Government of Canada

Mike Edwards   

News biotechnology MoU

Once operational, the Moderna facility in Quebec is expected to provide access to a domestically manufactured portfolio of mRNA vaccines against respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.

Moderna, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines based in Cambridge, MA, has announced its plan to build a state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Quebec that will support a long-term strategic partnership with the Government of Canada to enhance pandemic preparedness.

This milestone follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Moderna and the Government of Canada in August 2021. Once the facility is certified by Health Canada, it is expected to provide onshore respiratory vaccine manufacturing capabilities and support future pandemic readiness. The partnership is expected to be finalized following approval of the final agreement by the Government of Canada.

“The leadership and vision shown by the Government of Canada in the early stages of the pandemic made Canada an ideal candidate for an onshore vaccine manufacturing facility,” said St├ęphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna.

“This partnership is designed to provide Canadians with access to Moderna’s vaccines in future pandemics and health emergencies.”

Once operational, the facility is expected to provide access to a domestically manufactured portfolio of mRNA vaccines against respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, seasonal influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and other potential respiratory viruses, contingent on approval by Health Canada.

Moderna colleagues performing analysis using a PCR thermocycler.

In the event of a future pandemic, it is also expected that the facility could be activated on an urgent basis to support Canada with direct access to rapid pandemic response capabilities with the capacity to adapt and adjust manufacturing to address novel or emerging viruses.

As part of the ten-year partnership, Moderna is also expected to support research and development and other commercial collaborations in the country. The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs during construction and operation. Construction is expected to commence in 2022, with the facility expected to become operational by the end of 2024, subject to planning and regulatory approvals.

“Moderna’s planned R&D commitments will contribute to the growth of the life sciences ecosystem in Canada, providing a significant boost to the government’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy,” said Patricia Gauthier, president and general manager of Moderna Canada.

“This partnership will provide scientific expertise, capacity building, and economic development benefits that will expand Canada’s capacity to play a key role in exploring the potential of mRNA technology.”

Moderna’s mRNA pipeline includes 31 vaccine programs and 15 therapeutic programs, including vaccines against respiratory viruses, vaccines against latent viruses, and vaccines against threats to global public health.

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