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

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

Joy Johnson, seen here during an installation ceremony on Oct. 22, is Simon Fraser University’s 10th president and vice-chancellor. (Submitted photo)
SFU’s Surrey campus tackling COVID-19-related research

‘We can learn now,’ SFU president Joy Johnson said, ‘so should something like this happen again we’ll be prepared. We have to learn from this current pandemic’

Cambridge Elementary School music teacher Darlene Lourenco is “on the mend” after contracting COVID-19. She had a two-week stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital, including in the ICU. (Photo: submitted)
Surrey music teacher at home after two-week hospital stay battling COVID-19

Meantime, Surrey Teachers’ Association sends letter with safety demands to board of education

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Hail to the chief – an in-depth interview with Surrey Police Service’s first boss

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski will assume his historic new role on Dec. 14

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

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: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

Most Read