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Canadian Biotech Firm, Medicago, Plans Quebec City Production Complex

05/19/2015
Medicago, a major Canadian biotech company and an international leader in the development and production of plant-based vaccines and therapeutics, will open a $245 million production complex in Quebec City, Quebec. The is expected to create 200 new high-skilled jobs by 2019, adding to the team of 180 employees already working at Medicago's Quebec City office and laboratories.

According to company officials, Medicago chose Quebec City because of its qualified employees and the access to an experienced workforce, world-class research infrastructure, a dynamic business culture and support from the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Medicago's new complex will be built in Quebec City's Espace d'innovation D'Estimauville. Estimauville Innovation Park, and completed by 2019. It will regroup Medicago's head office, research and development activities, and commercial production plant.

"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 CEO. "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." Medicago's new facility will have the capacity to deliver up to 40 to 50 million doses of quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccines. In addition, work towards developing new products will take place over the upcoming years.

The company’s major expansion project received support from all three levels of government in the form of loans or discounted land purchase costs. The governments of Canada and Quebec provided loans of $8 million and $60 million, respectively. The municipal government contributed to a value of $6.5 million. Medicago would also like to thank Québec International for its support throughout the project's development.

The firm was recently awarded a contract by the U.S. government to manufacture Ebola antibodies in its Quebec City pilot production plant for a study in non-human primates. The technology used can quickly produce large amounts of antibodies, thereby boosting production volumes to increase stockpiles across the globe.

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