Ontario Expands Domestic Vaccine Manufacturing Capacity and Improves Pandemic Preparedness
Ontario Expands Domestic Vaccine Manufacturing Capacity and Improves Pandemic Preparedness
March 31, 2021

TORONTO — The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government, the City of Toronto and Sanofi, a leading global biopharmaceutical and vaccines company, to expand its Ontario facility to meet growing demand for flu vaccines, boost Canada's preparedness for future pandemics and create 300 high-quality jobs.

Ontario is investing $55 million through a performance-based loan, toward construction of Sanofi's $925 million state-of-art vaccine facility to meet growing demand for flu vaccines, specifically for populations at greater risk of influenza. The company is also committing to an average of $79 million a year in research and development in Ontario or more than a half a billion dollars over the life of the agreement. Sanofi will also be leveraging leading scientists in the province giving them the industrial R&D experience that is valuable to companies.

"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," said Premier Ford. "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 investment will enable Sanofi to bulk manufacture Fluzone® High-Dose Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine, a flu vaccine approved for people 65 years and older, at its historic Connaught site in Toronto. The facility will include industrial scale Formulation, Filling and Packaging, a key requirement for pandemic preparedness.

The project will result in the production of more flu shots in Canada, while strengthening Ontario's biopharmaceutical industry, making the province a strong candidate for future vaccine production. Through this investment, research and development activities will continue at Sanofi's Toronto location and there will be expanded opportunities for the agricultural industry value chain.

"It is critical, now more than ever, that we build the capacity to supply Ontario and all of Canada with flu vaccines," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "The support we provide Sanofi will build on this province's bio-manufacturing capacity, save lives and help prepare us for any future pandemic emergency."

This new facility is a second large manufacturing mandate for Sanofi at this site. In 2018, Ontario and Sanofi announced another large bulk vaccine manufacturing facility focused on doubling the site's capacity to produce childhood vaccines.

Sanofi Pasteur, a subsidiary of French headquartered Sanofi, is Ontario's largest brand name biopharmaceutical company with a full spectrum of R&D, manufacturing, clinical trials, regulatory and quality affairs and distribution operations.


Quick Facts

  • In addition to creating high-quality jobs, the project will result in hundreds of supporting jobs, including scientists, service providers, construction workers, egg farmers and transportation.
  • The project is expected to support $6 million in staff training and developing tomorrow’s workforce, including collaborations with Ontario post-secondary and industry institutions.
  • Ontario’s 44 public universities and colleges produce 49,300 STEM graduates (science, technology, engineering and math) each year, accounting for more than 42 percent of Canadian STEM graduates.
  • As Ontario’s new investment attraction agency, Invest Ontario will play a pivotal role in the province’s economic recovery and growth. It will initially focus on three important sectors for COVID-19 recovery where Ontario has a globally competitive advantage: advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and technology.
  • Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, brings total investments to $16.3 billion to protect people’s health and $23.3 billion to protect our economy. Ontario’s COVID-19 action plan support now totals $51 billion.

Quotes

"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

"Today marks a great moment for life sciences and vaccine manufacturing in the Province of Ontario and in Canada. This investment, in collaboration with our government partners, demonstrates our shared commitment to strategically grow our domestic industrial biomanufacturing. This new asset means that we can have the additional capacity to continue protecting Canadians' health and assist in pandemic preparedness in the future."
- Fabien Marino
Vice President Industrial Affairs and Sanofi Pasteur Toronto Site Head

"Today’s investment is a key step towards Ontario’s commitment of reducing our reliance on other markets in the event of a future pandemic. This investment provides additional support to Ontario’s thriving life sciences ecosystem, and leverages our existing infrastructure at Sanofi’s Connaught site to ensure a strong, steady supply of vaccines for Ontarians."
- Nina Tangri
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade


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