The Government of Canada makes historic investment to strengthen Canada’s biomanufacturing sector
Investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to grow domestic biomanufacturing capacity and to build preparedness for future pandemics
March 31, 2021 – Toronto, Ontario
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, together with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an investment of up to $415 million to support Sanofi Pasteur Limited (Sanofi) in building an end-to-end influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto, Ontario. This new facility will ensure drug product formulation, fill-and-finish and inspection. As part of this project, Sanofi will invest more than $455 million as well as create and maintain 1,225 highly skilled jobs in Canada. The Government of Ontario will also invest $55 million, making this a $925-million project. In addition, the company will also invest at least $79 million a year to fund Canadian research and development
After a global search, Sanofi has chosen Canada as the home of its international production and distribution centre for their high-dose seasonal influenza vaccine, FLUZONE® High Dose Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (FLUZONE® HD QIV). In addition to creating jobs and funding Canadian research, this facility means better pandemic preparedness for all Canadians. In the event of a future flu outbreak, Sanofi will be able to manufacture pandemic influenza vaccine at population scale at its new Toronto facility. It will have the capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to support the entire Canadian population within approximately six months of the World Health Organization (WHO) identifying a pandemic influenza strain.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a strong domestic biomanufacturing sector. Today’s announcement will not only reinforce Canada’s biomanufacturing capacity but also strengthen our country’s pandemic preparedness.
Over the last 12 months, the government has made investments of more than $1 billion to advance industrial research and development in vaccines and pharmaceuticals as well as expand biomanufacturing capacity. It will continue enhancing pandemic preparedness today and in the future by making Canada more self-sufficient while reducing exposure to possible future economic impacts and supply chain challenges.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates Canada’s ability to attract foreign investments and to develop facilities with made-in-Canada solutions. This once-in-a-generation investment shows our government’s commitment to rebuilding Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing sector, focusing on both short-term strategic solutions and a long‑term vision. By investing in this project, our government is helping to keep expertise in Canada, creating and maintaining highly skilled jobs, and securing the health and safety of Canadians. By fostering an environment where companies can invest and grow, leading life sciences firms like Sanofi are increasingly looking to Canada to establish their manufacturing facilities.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“This major new investment in biomanufacturing is an important step forward for Canada. Building on our domestic capacity to produce pandemic influenza vaccine is all part of our commitment to protect the health and safety of all Canadians now and in the years to come.”
- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health
“This is a critical investment as it will create 300 high quality jobs and push Ontario toward becoming less reliant on others for the production of flu and potentially other vaccines. By supporting companies like Sanofi we will continue to strengthen our excellent pharmaceutical sector and ensure we are prepared for future public health events with Made in Ontario products.”
- The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
“It has never been more critical that we build up our domestic production capacity to supply Ontario and all of Canada with flu vaccines. Ontario is the economic engine of Canada, and we can make anything here with our skilled workforce, life sciences sector and strong supply chains. This partnership will build on Ontario’s bio-manufacturing capacity, save lives, create new jobs, and, help prepare us for any future pandemic emergency.”
- The Honourable Victor Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
"The expansion of Sanofi’s Toronto Site is a true testament to the strength of Toronto’s medical and healthcare sector. This new vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto will not only give confidence to Canadians that work is underway to address the ongoing need for vaccines now and in the future but that Toronto is a city in which businesses can grow and thrive. I want to thank everyone involved including my colleague Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson for playing a role in bringing this partnership to fruition and helping us improve our ability to create vaccines domestically which will ensure that we are prepared in the future.”
- His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
“As a leading vaccines company, we continuously look ahead to address the fast-growing demand for those influenza vaccines that have demonstrated clinical superiority against standard-dose vaccines. This new investment to produce FLUZONE® High-Dose Quadrivalent will help ensure more seniors around the world are better protected against influenza. In addition, it will be a key resource to assist against future pandemics. We welcome the ongoing partnership with the Canadian authorities, who supported us to make today’s great news a reality. This will make the country, which has a strong legacy in vaccines research and development, one of our key hubs in our effort to protect and improve human health across the globe.”
- Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi
Sanofi is a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer and a global leader in the development of drugs and vaccines.
Sanofi has been present in Canada since 1917, with the majority of their Canadian operations located in Laval and Toronto. Sanofi has a long history at the Toronto site, where many advances in vaccines have been made in the past century.
Sanofi already makes nine products in Toronto and is investing an additional $500 million in the construction of a separate diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine facility.
In addition to the 1,225 highly skilled jobs created and maintained in Canada, another 200 co-op positions will be created through this project.
The Government of Canada’s funding announced today comes from the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).
Thus far, the Government of Canada has invested in ten firms through SIF that accelerate vaccine, therapy and biomanufacturing capacity in Canada.
Today’s contribution and other actions the government has taken are informed by the recommendations of the Joint Biomanufacturing Subcommittee of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutic task forces.
Sanofi Canada has signed on to the Government of Canada’s 50 – 30 Challenge, pledging to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplace by attaining gender parity and significant representation of under-represented groups within their senior leadership.
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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