Medicago to supply Covid-19 vaccine candidate

Philip Morris International announced that Medicago will supply up to 76 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine candidate to the Canadian government, subject to approval. – Reuters image is for illustration only

MEDICAGO, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, announced that it reached an agreement with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to supply up to 76 million doses of its vaccine candidate for Covid-19, subject to Health Canada approval.

Innovation, Science & Economic Development (ISED), another department of the Canadian federal government, will contribute C$173M to Medicago to support its on-going vaccine development and clinical trials, and for the construction of its Quebec City manufacturing facility.

Philip Morris Investments B.V. (PMIBV) – a subsidiary of Philip Morris International – holds an approximately one-third equity stake in Medicago and has supported Medicago’s innovative plant-derived research and development focused on vaccines.

Japan-based Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation is the majority shareholder and PMIBV’s partner in Medicago.

“We welcome the collaboration announced between two departments of the Canadian government and Medicago to accelerate its efforts against Covid-19, ” said Philip Morris International CEO André Calantzopoulos.

“Better outcomes can be achieved when governments and companies join efforts to promote shared objectives for the greater good.

“We are pleased to be able to support Medicago’s work to develop, substantiate, manufacture, and make available a Covid-19 vaccine candidate. We all hope they will be successful.”

Medicago began Phase 1 testing on volunteers on July 14 and is anticipating that Phase 2 trials will begin in early November 2020. If Phase 2 trials are successful, Phase 3 trials are expected to begin in December 2020.

Meanwhile, Philip Morris International is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke as well as society, the company and its shareholders.

Philip Morris International is a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, as well as smoke-free products and associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the US.

In addition, Philip Morris International ships a version of its IQOS Platform 1 device and its consumables to Altria Group Inc for sale under licence in the US, where the Food and Drug

Administration has authorised their marketing as a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP).

Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and scientific substantiation, Philip Morris International aims to ensure that its smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements.

Its smoke-free product portfolio includes heat-not-burn and nicotine-containing vapour products.

As of Sept 30,2020, Philip Morris International estimates that approximately 11.7 million adult smokers around the world have already stopped smoking and switched to its heat-not-burn product, available for sale in 61 markets in key cities or nationwide under the IQOS brand.

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