Hoping for this drop under promising results during the clinical trial phases, Medicago’s vaccine may finally be delayed a bit longer and may not be licensed before the end of the year.
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This was confirmed yesterday by Quebec biopharmaceuticals, during a visit by the liberal candidate in Saint-Maurice – Champlain, François-Philippe Champagne, to his facilities in the Technology Park yesterday.
Photo Simon Baillargeon
The outgoing Liberal minister, François-Philippe Champagne, yesterday visited the Medicago facilities in Quebec. Accompanied by Isabelle Caron, Senior Director of Production, and Marc-André D’Aoust, Executive Vice President of Innovation, Development and Medical Affairs, he was able to see the greenhouse of the production plant.
“We are in the last miles, in the last kilometers of phase III, so this is the last step before submission to Health Canada regulatory authorities,” explained Nathalie Charland, senior director of medical and scientific affairs at Medicago. .
Earlier this year, it was expected to get approval from Health Canada as early as the fall. However, Medicago was delayed, in part due to the difficulty of recruiting candidates for clinical trials.
The recruitment of subjects is completed, carried out in Canada, but also in the United States, Great Britain, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
“What remains for us to do is look at the COVID-19 cases that have developed among the participants. We are still blind, so we do not yet know who has been vaccinated or not among the more than 24,000 subjects that we have recruited. We will review these results in the coming weeks. “
The goal is to send the file to Health Canada in the fall and hope “to have an approval by the end of the year,” Ms. Charland said.
20 million doses
Recall that the Government of Canada last October concluded an agreement to buy 20 million COVID-19 vaccines from Medicago, with the option of obtaining 56 million more.
These 20 million doses would be produced at the pilot plant in Quebec and in North Carolina. “This is what we are looking for, the 20 million doses delivered by the end of next year, even earlier, we hope,” Ms Charland said.
Even if the vaccine does not arrive as quickly as desired, outgoing minister François-Philippe Champagne is delighted to see that “it looks very good.”
“I believe that Medicago will not only be used to ensure health [et] Canadians will be safe in the medium term, but they will certainly be able to play a role in the world, ”he said.
However, the appearance of many variants of the coronavirus does not seem to frustrate the plans of the Québec company.
“At the moment at Medicago, at least at the laboratory level, it has been shown that the antibodies generated by our candidate vaccine were able to recognize several different variants with the appropriate levels of neutralizing antibodies. Therefore, we are hopeful that this will be reflected in terms of efficiency, ”said Ms Charland.