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Moderna to open vaccine facility in Laval in 2024


Moderna says construction of its new mRNA vaccine factory in Laval, Que. will begin later this year, with production expected to begin by the end of 2024.

It will be the pharmaceutical giant’s first manufacturing facility outside the United States and cost an estimated $180 million to construct.

Moderna says it has agreed to purchase land in the Montreal suburb’s biotechnology park, to serve as the site of its biomanufacturing facility.

The Massachusetts-based company says the site is ideal because it is home to a campus of a renowned Quebec research institute, the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS).

Moderna announced in April that it would build a factory in the Montreal area that would produce about 30 million vaccine doses a year, with the ability to ramp up production to 100 million a year should there be a need.

The company also said it would employ between 200 and 300 people.

The facility is expected to produce vaccines not only against COVID-19 but also targeting various respiratory viruses, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Moderna would be coming to the Montreal area in April, as ministers François-Philippe Champagne, left, and Jean-Yves Duclos looked on. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The company says the facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2024, “subject to planning and regulatory approvals.”

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante chose to treat the news as a win for the region today rather than disappointment for her city. 

Plante had stated in April that the facility would be in Montreal, and Quebec Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon indicated in June that it would be built in the city’s Saint-Laurent borough.

“It’s great news to see businesses settling in the metropolitan area. The arrival of Moderna strengthens our position of choice in the life sciences sector, and confirms the attractiveness and dynamism of Greater Montreal,” said Plante in a statement Thursday. 

It appears proximity to the INRS was Moderna’s deciding factor.

“This location offers tremendous synergies to Moderna due to its proximity to a renowned research institute, in addition to fitting the requirements of the project and its importance to all Canadians and Quebecers,” the company said in a news release.

“Moderna is proud to share the promise of mRNA science with Quebec to tackle the world’s greatest public health threats.”

The INRS and the mayor of Laval also celebrated the news on Thursday.

“There is no doubt that welcoming a partner of this stature will contribute to the influence of the Laval biotechnology park in Quebec and Canada,” said an INRS statement.

In April, it was announced that the agreement to open the facility came with a pledge from the federal government to prioritize vaccine stock purchases from Moderna during future epidemics or disease outbreaks.


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