American pharmaceutical company Moderna will build a vaccine factory in Montreal, its first outside the United States, the company and government officials announced on Friday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Trudeau said the plant will be operational as early as 2024, employ up to 300 people and be able to produce 100 million doses of mRNA vaccines per year.
“It will also have a significant impact on the research they are doing on a range of diseases,” Trudeau said. “We talked about Alzheimer’s disease, we talked about cancers, we talked about the range of things that messenger RNA is capable of providing to keep Canadians and people around the world healthy.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault says the C$180 million ($140.5 million) plant will better prepare Quebec for future pandemics by strengthening national supply chains and vaccine independence .
The family of Noubar Afeyan, president and co-founder of Moderna, fled to Montreal after escaping civil war in Lebanon. Afeyan attended Loyola College and McGill University before going to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Trudeau government has invested 1.6 billion Canadian dollars (1.25 billion US dollars) in about 30 projects related to biomanufacturing, vaccines and therapies.