Canada to Purchase Home-Grown COVID-19 Vaccine

Medicago coronavirus Virus-Like Particle vaccine was produced from a plant-based platform
plant leaf
(Precision Vaccinations)

A biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, Canada, announced that it has reached an agreement to supply the Government of Canada with up to 76 million doses of its vaccine against COVID-19, subject to Health Canada approval.

The government’s press statement on October 23, 2020, indicated this purchase is enough to vaccinate 38 million people and is the first domestically developed vaccine candidate the Government of Canada has secured, that is targeted against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

“Access to safe and effective vaccines is critical for Canada, and the government is doing its part to help support innovative Canadian companies in performing the research needed to demonstrate that their products meet Health Canada’s high safety, efficacy, and quality standards," added the Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, in the press statement.

Medicago's plant-based platform produced its coronavirus Virus-Like Particle (VLP) vaccine. Medicago's plant-derived vaccine development differs because it uses living plants as bioreactors to produce a non-infectious particle that mimics the target virus, without the use of any live viruses.

Medicago’s proprietary technology Proficia® uses N. benthamiana plants, which is the most widely used experimental host in plant virology, due mainly to the large number of viruses that can successfully infect it. Its weakened immune system, the result of natural genetic changes over millennia, means genetic material can be successfully hosted by the plant and not rejected.

Medicago stated on October 23, 2020, it plans to initiate Phase 2 clinical trials in November, and Phase 3 trials in December 2020.

Separately, the Canadian government is also providing up to $23.2 million in funding through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program to advance six COVID-19 vaccine candidates in various stages of clinical trials.

The Government of Canada has now signed agreements with Medicago, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Pfizer, and Moderna. Agreements signed to date will secure access to up to 358 million doses of their different COVID-19 vaccine candidates. 

As of October 23, 2020, there are (3) vaccine candidates under review by Canada.

PrecisionVaccinations publishes research-based vaccine development news.