Moderna Inc said on Tuesday it had agreed with the Canadian government to start domestic production of mRNA vaccines as the country looks to boost supplies to fight respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and seasonal influenza.
Under the memorandum of understanding, Moderna will set up an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Canada and also give access to its mRNA development engine.
The COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna, based on mRNA technology, is already being used in the United States, the European Union, and Canada.
Scientists believe mRNA has the potential to target diseases that cannot be reached by conventional drugs. Such vaccines, which have shown high efficacy in preventing COVID-19 disease, contain no actual virus, instead providing instructions for human cells to make proteins that mimic part of the coronavirus.
Last week, Moderna said its COVID-19 shot was about 93 percent effective through six months after the second dose, showing hardly any change from the 94 percent efficacy reported in its original clinical trial.
Canada has reported 1.4 million infections and 26,678 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began, according to Reuters tally.
The manufacturing facility is expected to be activated on an urgent basis to support Canada with direct access to rapid pandemic response capabilities, Moderna said on Tuesday, adding that it is in talks with other governments about potential collaborations.
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