Canada invests $199M to help Ontario medical facility produce mRNA vaccines

Canada is investing nearly $200 million towards a Mississaugua-based medical facility that could produce millions of mRNA vaccines each year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement Tuesday, saying that $199.16 million is going towards helping Resilience Biotechnologies Inc. increase its manufacturing of a number of vaccines and therapeutics, including those that use mRNA technology.

“Today’s investment … will not only boost Canadian manufacturing, it will also support good Canadian jobs,” Trudeau said at a media conference.

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The federal funds will support a $401-million project with the Ontario biotech company that will help prop up Canada’s emergency preparedness for a future pandemic. The project is slated to be complete in 2024, according to The Toronto Star.

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Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said once the project is complete, the medical facility is expected to produce around 112 to 640 million doses of mRNA vaccines a year.

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which differ from regular vaccines in terms of how they help your body build immunity against a pathogen. Since the pandemic started, Canada has had to rely on other countries to import these vaccines due to a lack of domestic vaccine manufacturing.

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“We have seen our biomanufacturing sector had been in decline for almost four decades. At the outbreak of the pandemic, we lacked the capacity needed to attract a mass production of COVID-19 vaccines,” Champagne said.

“It’s a significant boost to our domestic capacity … This will position Canada well to attract vaccine manufacturing,” he added.

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On March 31, the federal government also announced funding of $415 million (in partnership with $55 million from Ontario), to pharmaceutical company Sanofi to build a vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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