Lab Canada

Contract signed for development and testing of prototype pandemic vaccine

Ottawa, ON – Canadian pharmaceutical manufacturer ID Biomedical has been contracted by the federal government to produce and test a prototype vaccine to further enhance Canada’s preparedness to respond to an influenza pandemic.

“The development of a prototype pandemic vaccine is an important component of our preparedness strategy,” says Ujjal Dosanjh, federal minister of health. “Vaccines are the most effective line of defence for reducing illness and death in the event of an influenza pandemic….We need to invest now in building our scientific knowledge and production capacity so that we can produce a vaccine as quickly as possible when it’s needed.”

A specific vaccine against a pandemic virus cannot be produced until the new strain has emerged and has been identified. In the meantime, work on the production and testing of a prototype vaccine using the H5N1 seed strain will allow the manufacturer to gain the experience needed to “ramp up” production when a pandemic happens. Production of the prototype and vaccine trials will also increase our knowledge on the appropriate formulation and number of doses needed, as well as the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

In addition to work on a prototype vaccine, ID Biomedical is under contract to provide the infrastructure and capacity to produce sufficient vaccine for all Canadians in the event of an influenza pandemic.

The company will build a pilot production facility to produce sufficient vaccine for use in clinical trials. Production and clinical trials are scheduled to begin next fall.