Quebec City biopharmaceutical company moving towards testing stages of COVID-19 vaccine candidate
Quebec, March 21, 2020 – Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, welcomes the financial support from the Government of Quebec for the development of a vaccine against COVID-19. On March 12, Medicago announced the successful production of coronavirus Virus-Like Particles (VLP) in just 20 days after receiving the virus gene, thus having a viable vaccine candidate against COVID-19.
This funding will allow Medicago to continue research in Quebec and to initiate preclinical testing to assess the safety and efficacy of the vaccine candidate. The company is focusing its efforts to quickly submit a vaccine candidate to the regulatory authorities.
“We are extremely grateful to the Government of Quebec for its ongoing commitment to Medicago and its financial support. This financial contribution from Investissement Québec will allow us to quickly start the first phase of testing of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate before initiating clinical trials in humans this summer”, said Dr. Bruce D. Clark, President and CEO of Medicago.
Medicago is a leader in plant-based technology having previously demonstrated its capability to be a first responder in a flu pandemic. In 2009, the company produced a research-grade vaccine candidate against H1N1 in just 19 days. In 2012, Medicago manufactured 10 million doses of a monovalent influenza vaccine within one month for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense. In 2015, Medicago also demonstrated that it could rapidly produce an anti-Ebola monoclonal antibody cocktail for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Medicago’s first product, a seasonal recombinant quadrivalent VLP vaccine for active immunization against influenza, is currently under review by Health Canada following the completion of a robust safety and efficacy clinical program involving over 25,000 patients.
Medicago is a biopharmaceutical company with more than 450 employees in Canada and the United States. Medicago’s mission is to improve global health outcomes by leveraging innovative plant-based technologies for rapid responses to emerging global health challenges. Medicago is committed to advancing therapeutics against life-threatening diseases worldwide.