A vial of a plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine candidate, developed by Medicago, is shown in Quebec City on Monday, July 13, 2020 as part of the company’s Phase 1 clinical trials in this handout photo. Medicago says it has received promising early test results for its plant-derived vaccine for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Medicago

A vial of a plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine candidate, developed by Medicago, is shown in Quebec City on Monday, July 13, 2020 as part of the company’s Phase 1 clinical trials in this handout photo. Medicago says it has received promising early test results for its plant-derived vaccine for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Medicago

Canadian company reports promising early Phase 1 test results of possible COVID-19 vaccine

Quebec City-based company says the side-effects were generally mild to moderate and short in duration

A Canadian biopharmaceutical company says it has received promising early test results for its plant-derived vaccine for COVID-19.

Privately held Medicago says interim results of a Phase 1 clinical trial found that 100 per cent of subjects developed an antibody response after two doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

“These are very promising results,” said Nathalie Landry, Medicago’s executive vice-president of scientific and medical affairs in a news release.

“We also observed that the antibody levels were higher after vaccination than those observed in convalescent sera from people who recovered from the disease.”

The Quebec City-based company says the side-effects were generally mild to moderate and short in duration.

The Phase 1 clinical trial was a randomized, partially blinded study of 180 healthy people.

Based on the Phase 1 data, Medicago plans to proceed with a Phase 2/3 clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, subject to regulatory approval.

The news comes a day after stock markets worldwide rallied on a report from Pfizer that a potential COVID-19 vaccine it’s developing with German partner BioNTech may be 90 per cent effective, based on early but incomplete test results.

“The positive results of our Phase 1 clinical trial are a step forward in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and we are confidently moving forward to our Phase 2/3 trial. We’re pleased that Medicago’s innovative manufacturing technology is helping to diversify the classes of COVID-19 vaccines candidates in development,” said CEO Dr. Bruce Clark.

The federal government has signed a deal with Medicago to secure the rights to buy 76 million doses of its vaccine.

VIDEO: Trudeau says he hopes to see COVID-19 vaccines roll out in Canada in early 2021

Medicago will also receive $173 million in funding from Ottawa for its vaccine research and development and for the construction of its Quebec City manufacturing facility.

Ottawa is also investing $18.2 million in a potential vaccine from British Columbia’s Precision NanoSystems and the National Research Council is to spend $23 million to support other Canadian vaccine initiatives.

Medicago was founded in 1999 and says its team includes over 450 scientific experts and employees in Canada and the United States, with academic affiliations in Europe and South Africa.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lieut. Orphée Bernard takes a twirl on his Movember moustache as Lieut. Jeff Allan, back left, firefighters Andrew Mills and Layne Polnick and Capt. Troy Libbus display an oversized cheque showing the amount of cash raised from the profits of custom-embroidered T-shirt sales. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo firefighters raise moustache cash

Firefighters support Movember Canada through T-shirt sale fundraiser

Patricia Kent, 25, was reported missing over the weekend, as her family has been unable to reach her, say police. (Photo submitted)
RCMP ask for help locating missing Nanaimo woman

Patricia Kent, 25, has not been seen nor heard from since Saturday, say police

An man from Errington died when his ATV went over an embankment on Northwest Bay Logging Road on the weekend. (File photo)
Man dies in ATV crash northwest of Nanaimo

Incident happened on Northwest Bay Logging Road on Saturday afternoon

Volunteers plant trees earlier this month as part of a City of Nanaimo initiative. (City of Nanaimo photo)
City holds ‘relay’ to plant 600 trees and shrubs in Nanaimo

Trees were planted along Chase River and at Third Street Park

Vancouver Island University organizations are raising awareness about gender-based violence during 16 Days of Activism, which includes the Red Dress Project hosted by VIUSU that aims to honour the memory of Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. (Vancouver Island University photo)
City proclamation calls on Nanaimo to unite to end violence against women

16 Days of Activism campaign started Nov. 25, continues to Dec. 10

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Three Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store volunteers have tested positive for COVID-19. (Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary photo)
Three Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store volunteers test positive for COVID-19

Anyone who volunteered at Thrift Store between Nov. 14-Nov. 28 is asked to monitor for symptoms

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Left to right: A screenshot of NTC nurse navigator Lesley Cerney, FNHA regional mental health manager Georjeana Paterson and Island Health’s medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns addressing Ehattesaht community members from Ehatis reserve in a Facebook live update. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Medical team sent to Ehatis reserve near Zeballos to guide community through COVID outbreak

17 cases, eight recoveries and no hospitalizations as Island Health praises First Nation’s response

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Most Read