Medicago, which had developed a vaccine against COVID-19 in Quebec, ceases its operations

Medicago, which had developed a vaccine against COVID-19 in Quebec, ceases its operations

Medicago facilities at 3220, avenue Watt in Quebec City

The biopharmaceutical company Medicago, whose head office is located in Quebec City, is ceasing its activities. Its shareholder, the Japanese chemical group Mitsubishi Chemical Group, made the announcement in a press release around 7 p.m., Quebec time.

Founded in 1999, the company became a private company in 2013 and focused on the research and development of new vaccines using plant-based virus-like particle (VLP) technology. Its COVID-19 vaccine, COVIFENZ, was authorized in Canada in February 2022, but rejected by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to the company's ties to tobacco company Philip Morris. Last December, the latter transferred his shares to the main shareholder, thus making him the sole shareholder.

Mitsubishi Chemical Group's decision comes as the company “prepared to transition to commercial production”. “In light of the significant changes that have occurred in the COVID-19 vaccine scene since the authorization of COVIFENZ and following a comprehensive analysis of current global demand, current economic Regarding vaccines against COVID-19 and the challenges Medicago is facing in its transition to commercial production, the group has decided not to pursue the commercialization of COVIFEN”, supports the group in its press release.

Under the circumstances, “the group deemed it unviable to continue to invest in the commercialization of Medicago's developmental products and therefore chose to end all its activities with Medicago and to effect an orderly dissolution of its business affairs and activities,” it read.

Until this dissolution is completed, “Medicago’s business activities and regular operating activities will be significantly reduced and reoriented,” the company said without providing further details.

On its website, Medicago “thanks all of its employees for their commitment and passion”. The company employed over 300 people in Canada and the United States.

More details to come...

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