Vaccine manufacturer Moderna has signed an agreement with Canada’s federal government to build a domestic mRNA production facility.
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel joined Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne in Montreal to announce the new facility Tuesday morning.
“This past year has demonstrated how mRNA offers speed and efficacy, making us prepared to respond to a pandemic,” Bancel said.
The company hasn’t chosen where the site will be built. Bancel said his team will evaluate locations and a city’s biomedical talent pool before deciding in the coming weeks.
Moderna plans to have the new site operating and ready to ship products by 2024.
“This will make sure Canada is prepared for future pandemics and other health emergencies, strengthen our economy and create good jobs for Canadians,” Champagne said in a news release.
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Canada had no domestic vaccine production facilities when COVID-19 hit and had to rely entirely on imports to get residents vaccinated.
The Moderna plant is one of several partnerships the government has announced this year to revive the country’s biomedical sciences sector.
In addition to COVID-19, the Canadian Moderna facility will look at vaccines and treatments for other ailments, including Zika, cancer, HIV, flu, and new variants of COVID-19.
Globally, Moderna plans to ship between 2 and 3 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to help end the pandemic.