Sanofi Pasteur’s Canadian headquarters in Toronto will soon undergo a makeover thanks to a €350 million (CAD $500 million) cash injection aimed at updating the company’s vaccine manufacturing capabilities. The company made the official announcement on Thursday, with government officials including the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, in attendance.
“Canada has a strong legacy in the research and development of vaccines. With this investment, Sanofi is renewing our longstanding commitment to making Canada central in our effort to protect and improve human health across the globe,” said David Loew, Executive Vice President and Head of Sanofi Pasteur. “Vaccines save three million lives every year and this new facility will take us one step closer to a world where no one suffers or dies from a vaccine-preventable disease.”
Sanofi is citing an increased demand for their five-component acellular pertussis (5-acP) antigen as a major driver of the expansion project. Their diphtheria and tetanus vaccines manufacturing capabilities will also benefit from the new facility, which has a projected completion date in 2021.
According to a release issued by the Government of Ontario, the new 150,000-square-foot facility will double Sanofi’s vaccines output within two years of its completion. Increasing their manufacturing capabilities for the company’s pertussis vaccine will allow them to export the biologic to more than 30 new international markets.
“This project is one of the most important investments for the Sanofi global industrial network,” said Philippe Luscan, Executive Vice President, Global Industrial Affairs, Sanofi. “It demonstrates our continued commitment to manufacturing excellence and to better serving our vaccines portfolio to people all over the world.”
Both the Canadian Federal Government and the Provincial Government of Ontario have pledged to contribute up to $70 million towards the $500 million project, which will create up to 1,250 new jobs for residents of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
“The Government of Canada is proud to support Canada’s life sciences sector and the adoption of new, innovative manufacturing technologies,” said Bains. “This project with Sanofi Pasteur will mean well-paying, middle-class jobs for Canadians, but more importantly, it will protect and improve the health of our families and children. This is a real example of innovation investment improving the quality of life for Canadians.”
The Canadian vaccines unit was originally established in 1917 under the name the Connaught Antitoxin Laboratories and University Farm. According to Sanofi, the Toronto facility was the world’s first commercial insulin facility, producing the drug in large quantities and supplying Canadian diabetics with the only available source of insulin into the 1980s.
“I am thrilled Sanofi Pasteur is expanding significantly in Ontario,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “The facility is a critical piece of our new economy that will drive innovation and grow our global exports – a testament to Ontario’s impressive talent, dynamic business climate and vibrant innovation ecosystem. Today’s announcement is great news for the future of healthcare and for Ontario’s economy and prosperity.”