CANADA – Moderna has announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build a vaccine manufacturing facility in Canada.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna did not disclose where in Canada the facility will be located. A CBC News report cited a company’s spokesperson as saying the company is in negotiations with Ottawa over the location and the timing of its construction.

The company said in a news release that the goals of the MoU are to build the foundation to support Canada with direct access to rapid pandemic response capabilities and to provide access to Moderna’s mRNA vaccines in development for respiratory viruses.

“I would like to thank the Government of Canada for the partnership they have built with us and for their faith in our data, science and early confidence in our mRNA platform in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently published data from the final analysis of the Phase 3 COVE study demonstrated that vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine showed 93% efficacy, with this efficacy remaining durable six months after administration of the second dose

“As a company, we are committed to global public health. While we are still responding to this pandemic, we also want to ensure we and society learn from it.

As Moderna expands internationally, we are delighted to bring mRNA manufacturing to Canada. We believe that this innovative business model will have global impact and implications,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in the release.

Moderna said it is committed to working with governments, healthcare professionals and others to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with future pathogens.

The intended state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will provide Canada access to a domestically manufactured portfolio of mRNA vaccines against respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, seasonal influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and potentially more.

The company is in discussions with other governments about potential collaborations built on a similar model.

“We are excited to expand our presence and continue our long-term collaboration with Canada,” Moderna’s Canadian GM Patricia Gauthier said. “With our industry-leading mRNA technology platform and rapid drug development capabilities, we look forward to being an active participant in Canada’s robust life sciences ecosystem.”

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