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Medicago’s $245 Million Facility Will Create 200 New Jobs, 40 Million New Vaccine Doses – Courtesy (Biospace)
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Booming Canadian biotech Medicago, Inc. will shell out $245 million for a new production complex in Quebec City, as demand for vaccines grows and the company puts 200 people to work at the new site by 2019.

Medicago attracted attention in late 2014 when it was awarded a contract by the U.S. government to manufacture Ebola antibodies in its Quebec City pilot production plant. Now it needs room to grow, said company executives.

Its new 44,000 square meter complex will be located near its head office and laboratories and will include research and corporate facilities. The new complex will be built in Quebec City’s Espace d’innovation D’Estimauville (Estimauville Innovation Park) and finished by 2019.

When completed, Medicago says the new site will be able to crank out 40 million to 50 million doses of seasonal flu vaccines annually, generating more than $461 million in direct and indirect economic benefits over the next five years.

“We’re pleased that Medicago will take this next major step in Quebec City, where we have already developed our innovative technology,” said Andy Sheldon, Medicago‘s chief executive, in a statement. “We will export most of our vaccines to foreign markets, but we also believe our new production complex will help Canada meet its needs for seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines, in addition to strengthening the country’s response to emerging diseases around the world.”

The Canadian government has high hopes for the project as well, investing via a $60 million loan from Quebec province and an $8 million loan from Ottawa.

Medicago is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel vaccines and therapeutic proteins used to treat infectious diseases. It uses its proprietary Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) and manufacturing technologies that use plants “like miniature factories” to rapidly produce large quantities of vaccines or treatments.

“This technology demonstrated its potential for responding to global pandemics when it produced candidate vaccines for H1N1 in 2009 and H7N9 in 2013 in just 19 days, compared to the several months required to produce vaccines using eggs,” said the company in a statement.

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