Government of Canada makes major investment in Atlantic Canada’s biomanufacturing sector
Investment in BIOVECTRA to grow Canada’s life sciences sector is a milestone in Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy
November 18, 2021 – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Canada has an impressive history in biomanufacturing and life sciences. However, a decades-long decline in the sector left Canada without the large-scale and flexible biomanufacturing capacity necessary to quickly produce a COVID-19 vaccine when the pandemic hit. This is why the Government of Canada has worked tirelessly to rebuild Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing sector by focusing on both quick strategic actions and a long‑term vision. Since the start of the pandemic, over $1.2 billion has been invested to rebuild Canada’s vaccines, therapeutics and biomanufacturing capacity.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, announced a $39.8 million investment to support BIOVECTRA’s $79.6 million project. This contribution will help the company build a state-of-the-art facility in Prince Edward Island and reconfigure its facilities in Nova Scotia. This will boost Canada’s domestic supply of vaccines and therapeutics.
This project aligns with Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy. Once completed, the project will allow for production equivalent to 160 million doses of mRNA vaccine per year. This investment supports the growth of Canada’s life science ecosystem while driving innovation and creating good, well-paying jobs in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. With this contribution, BIOVECTRA will maintain and create 675 full-time jobs in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia as well as 225 co-op positions.
“Vaccines save lives, and COVID-19 vaccines are helping us start getting back to normal. BIOVECTRA’s plan to establish a state-of-the-art vaccine facility here in Prince Edward Island, and upgrade their existing facilities in Nova Scotia, is a key move that supports our strategy to grow a strong, competitive domestic life sciences sector with cutting-edge biomanufacturing capabilities. This will make sure Canada is prepared for future pandemics and other health emergencies, strengthen our economy and create good jobs here in Atlantic Canada.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Today is a great day for Prince Edward Island, and really, a great day for Canada. A stronger vaccine supply chain is going to mean we’re better prepared for the future, and investing in our biotech sector is going to mean more jobs and more economic growth for folks here on PEI. Prince Edward Island is genuinely going to be a centre for the world’s biotech and biomanufacturing industry, and I am incredibly proud of that.”
- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“BIOVECTRA is a true leader in bioscience, with strong relationships in the pharmaceutical industry, and we’re proud they call the East Coast home. A new state-of-the-art facility right here in Prince Edward Island means so many great things for our province. It means good jobs for Islanders, readiness for future health emergencies and an enhanced reputation for our province as a leader in bioscience research and innovation. Investing in this new facility is a step in the right direction as we move forward in strengthening our provincial economy and growing our sectors.”
- The Honourable Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island
“BIOVECTRA is excited about our new mRNA vaccine and biomanufacturing facility that will be part of the Canadian solution to building the domestic vaccine production capability crucial to protecting Canadians’ health in the face of a future health crisis. As a globally recognized Canadian anchor company in life sciences, BIOVECTRA brings the experience and biomanufacturing know-how needed to produce mRNA and pDNA vaccines. Today’s joint investment accelerates Atlantic Canada’s fast-growing bioscience sector and strengthens the Canadian biomanufacturing ecosystem.”
- Oliver Technow, Chief Executive Officer, BIOVECTRA
BIOVECTRA is a global biotech and pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization that specializes in clinical- to commercial-scale production capabilities for biologics, bioreagents, fermented small molecules, synthetic small molecules and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company has over 550 employees and five state-of-the art facilities in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. The Government of Canada funding announced today comes from the Strategic Innovation Fund.
On July 28, the government launched Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy, which presents a long‑term vision to protect Canadians against future epidemics and pandemics.
The federal government’s $39.8 million contribution to BIOVECTRA is being made alongside a $10 million investment from the Province of Prince Edward Island.
BIOVECTRA is committed to not only maintaining a gender and diversity plan to advance gender equity and corporate diversity but also implementing an environmental sustainability plan that will stipulate measurable goals and outcomes and include baseline data.
The investment will make it possible for BIOVECTRA to manufacture mRNA and plasmid DNA, a key input used to manufacture mRNA vaccines. The funding will also add fill and finish capabilities, allowing BIOVECTRA to provide an end-to-end manufacturing solution for its clients.
Growing Canada’s life sciences and biomanufacturing sector is a priority that goes beyond responding to COVID-19. The government’s investments in this growing sector support thousands of good middle-class jobs while securing Canada’s pandemic preparedness for years to come.
Budget 2021 provides a total of $2.2 billion over seven years toward growing a vibrant domestic life sciences sector and securing pandemic preparedness. This budget funding provides foundational investments to help build Canada’s talent pipeline and research systems as well as foster the growth of Canadian life sciences firms.
Senior Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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