A subsidiary of Philip Morris International (PMI) has been a shareholder of Medicago since 2008 and has supported the company’s innovative plant-derived research and development focused on vaccines. According to the press release, Medicago with headquarters in Quebec City, has reached an agreement with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to supply up to 76 million doses of its vaccine candidate for COVID-19, subject to Health Canada approval. Another Canadian federal government department, Innovation, Science & Economic Development (ISED), will contribute CAD 173 million (USD 131 million) to support Medicago’s on-going vaccine development and clinical trials which has already undergone Phase 1 testing on volunteers and is set to begin Phase 2 trials in early November 2020, states the press release.
“We welcome the collaboration announced between two departments of the Canadian government and Medicago to accelerate its efforts against COVID-19. Better outcomes can be achieved when governments and companies join efforts to promote shared objectives for the greater good. We are pleased to be able to support Medicago’s work to develop, substantiate, manufacture, and make available a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. We all hope they will be successful,” said PMI’s CEO André Calantzopoulos.