Canada is investing $192 million into developing a vaccine for COVID-19
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will invest an additional $192 million in COVID-19 vaccine development and production in Canada.
On Monday, Trudeau announced the investment during his morning press conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, where he remains in isolation with his family.
"Anti-viral treatments are things that we absolutely must do," Trudeau said, adding that vaccines "ensure that fewer and fewer people end up in the emergency department."
We have some of the world’s brightest researchers right here at home, and many of them are stepping up to join the fight against COVID-19. To help them take on this challenge, we’re announcing direct financial support for vaccine development and production in Canada.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 23, 2020
The government previously invested $275 million into vaccine research and development on March 11.
Trudeau revealed that some of the funding will be given to Vancouver-based biotech company AbCellera, a company that has the technology to search blood samples of recovered patients and find naturally-produced antibodies that can be used for treatment.
Some funding will also be allocated to Medicago, a Quebec City-based company that has already identified a viable plant-based vaccine candidate currently at the pre-clinical testing phase.
The University of Saskatchewan's research team, which is already testing a COVID-19 vaccine on animal models, will also receive some of the $192 million fund.
This funding will help researchers develop drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19, allow clinical trials to move forward, and make sure we’re prepared to mass-produce treatments as quickly as possible. And we’ll continue to track the spread of the virus using Canadian software.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 23, 2020
Trudeau added that $15 million will also be given to the National Research Council of Canada in Montreal for mass vaccine production "once there are promising options."
"We have to remember that vaccines won't be ready overnight," Trudeau added, warning Canadians that vaccines can take "months to develop and test."
Fortunately, a Canadian research team has already managed to isolate copies of the novel coronavirus — a crucial step in vaccine development that indicates a COVID-19 vaccine may be ready for clinical trials sooner than we expect.
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