Moderna vaccine manufacturing plant sets up in the Montreal area

American pharmaceutical giant Moderna has chosen the greater Montreal area to build its new biomanufacturing plant, the company’s first outside the United States.

The announcement is expected to be made Friday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Francois Legault, Radio-Canada confirmed.

The new facility will include a research center and an mRNA vaccine production facility, according to an agreement finalized last summer. The factory will produce some 30 million doses per year and the company will employ between 200 and 300 people.

The exact location of the new factory, which should be completed in 2024, has not yet been determined and is still under negotiation, but Radio-Canada has confirmed that it will be in the greater Montreal area.

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said he did not want to rush his decision, saying it had to be made with diligence.

“You have to understand that these are not decisions for six months, one or two years, but it is a decision for 20, 30 or 40 years,” he said.

“It’s really important that we do this in a place where we have the right level of talent, who will become Moderna employees.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the Trudeau government has promised to get Canada’s biomanufacturing sector back on its feet. To date, Ottawa has invested $1.6 billion in some 30 projects related to biomanufacturing, vaccines and therapies.

When Trudeau and Legault team up to make the announcement, they are expected to be surrounded by an array of provincial and federal ministers.

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