covid 19 vaccine

A Canadian company just started testing its COVID-19 vaccine on humans

A Canadian biopharmaceutical company has administered the first doses of its plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine to human volunteers. 

Medicago began Phase I of clinical trials on Monday, Jul. 13. The company, which is headquartered in Quebec City, plans to initiate Phase two of the three stage trials by October.  

If successful, Medicago expects to be able to manufacture approximately 100 million doses of its vaccine by the end of 2021.

"We are thrilled to see our COVID-19 vaccine candidate enter the Phase 1 trial, and we look forward to obtaining safety and immunogenicity results in October," said Nathalie Landry, Executive Vice-President, Scientific and Medical Affairs at Medicago in a release issued Tuesday.

"Our progress continues to demonstrate the value of Medicago's unique plant-based vaccine technology."  

Unlike traditional vaccinations, Medicago does not use animal products or live viruses to create its products. Instead, it uses Virus-Like Particles that mimic the shape and dimensions of a virus, which allows the body to recognize them and create an immune response in a non-infectious way. 

Dr. Bruce Clark, President and CEO of Medicago, added: "Creating a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines within the next year is a challenge which will require multiple approaches, with different technologies.

"Our proven plant-based technology is capable of contributing to the collective solution to this public health emergency."

Construction of Medicago's large-scale facility in Quebec City is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The facility is anticipated to have the capacity to produce up to 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine annually.

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