Government of Canada announces major milestone in the Canadian biomanufacturing sector

Moderna officially completes construction of its new state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine production facility in Laval, Que.

LAVAL, QC, Feb. 23, 2024 /CNW/ – In June 2022, the Government of Canada established a long-term agreement with Moderna for the domestic production of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines in Canada. The negotiations began in 2021, during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country faced intense global competition to secure vaccines. This global supply chain vulnerability showcased the need to ensure domestic capacity for producing our own vaccines, including cutting-edge technologies like mRNA. This is an important element of Canada’s national security, and it will help ensure the health and safety of Canadians.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, alongside Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region, Christopher Skeete, Quebec Minister for the Economy, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region, and Stéphane Boyer, Mayor of Laval, announced that Moderna is marking a major milestone, having completed construction of its new state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine production facility in Laval, Quebec.

This also represents a major milestone in Canada’s efforts to strengthen our domestic vaccine and therapeutics production capacity, as Moderna’s facility will be able to produce, if needed, approximately 100 million mRNA vaccine doses annually. Once opened, the facility will also be a source of many highly skilled, well-paying jobs. Furthermore, Moderna has committed to supporting research and development in Canada by establishing partnerships with Canadian researchers and companies over the course of the agreement. As a result, Moderna will become part of, and help grow, Canada’s life sciences ecosystem.

This is another significant achievement in the Government of Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy, which is helping strengthen Canada’s preparedness for health emergencies by building domestic capacity to produce vaccines and therapeutics, while boosting our economy, creating well-paying jobs and supporting Canadian research.

Quotes

“Today’s milestone for this new, cutting-edge Moderna facility represents a major step forward for Canada’s biomanufacturing and life sciences sector. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, Canada had very limited capability to produce mRNA vaccines domestically. We made a promise to Canadians that we would build back the biomanufacturing sector, and with the completion of the Moderna facility, we are fulfilling our promise. Moderna’s presence in Canada will strengthen our national biomanufacturing ecosystem, positioning the entire sector to continue to grow and to create even more good jobs.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Protecting the health and safety of people in Canada is one of our government’s top priorities. With this new facility, we have the opportunity to leverage innovative, state-of-the-art technology in vaccine development and be better prepared for future pandemics through timely, secure access to a domestic supply of safe and effective vaccines.”
– The Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health

“This new cutting-edge facility marks an important step in our partnership with Moderna to build domestic biomanufacturing capacity for mRNA vaccines. By supporting Canada’s biomanufacturing and life sciences sector, we are protecting Canadians and strengthening our pandemic preparedness, all while growing the economy and creating skilled jobs.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“We’re proud to have brought a key player such as Moderna to Québec. In addition to securing our vaccine supply, Moderna’s arrival will strengthen our position as a leader in the life sciences sector.”
Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region

“Moderna picked Laval because the city has so much to offer, from quality infrastructure to experienced professionals to the right business climate. But above all, it’s the availability of local talent and know-how that has made this wonderful announcement possible.”
Christopher Skeete, Minister for the Economy, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region

“Completing the construction of our mRNA facility marks a groundbreaking moment for Moderna and Canada as we progress towards delivering a domestic mRNA vaccine supply chain. This building is a tangible example of concerted collaboration with the federal government, the Government of Quebec and the City of Laval, reflecting the lessons of the pandemic. We are proud to help drive Canada’s reputation as an mRNA centre of excellence and contributor to global health initiatives.”
Stefan Raos, General Manager, Moderna Canada

Quick facts
  • Since March 2020, over $2.2 billion has been invested in the Canadian biomanufacturing and life sciences sector, supporting 38 new and expanded projects to boost our domestic biomanufacturing, vaccine and therapeutics ecosystem.
  • On July 28, 2021, the Government of Canada launched Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy, which presents a long–term vision for protecting Canadians against future health emergencies and pandemics.
  • In April 2022, Prime Minister Trudeau announced an agreement-in-principle for Moderna to build a vaccine production facility in Quebec. A definitive agreement between the Government of Canada and Moderna was subsequently finalized.
  • On November 7, 2022, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site of the future Moderna facility at Biotech City in Laval, Quebec, to mark that the initial stages of construction had started.
  • Since its founding in 2010, Moderna has become a global leader in mRNA vaccine technology. The company is a critical contributor to the Canadian response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The government’s investments in Canada’s life sciences and biomanufacturing sector are supporting thousands of good middle-class jobs while securing Canada’s pandemic preparedness for years to come.
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