Medicago has started recruiting participants for the Phase 3 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. (Medicago)

Medicago has started recruiting participants for the Phase 3 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. (Medicago)

Canadian company starts Phase 3 of plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials

Feds have agreement to buy up to 76 million doses of the vaccine if it is approved

A Quebec-based biopharmaceutical company is beginning to recruit participants for its Phase 3 trial of a plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine.

In a Tuesday (March 16) news release, Medicago said that it had received approval from Canadian and U.S. regulators to begin enrolling adults into the Phase 3 portion of its trials based on positive interim Phase 2 results. That portion of the trial is almost complete, with results expected to be available publicly in April.

In parallel with the Phase 3 trial, Medicago said it has also started a feasibility study of a vaccine candidate to address emerging variants of concern.

The Canadian company is also partnering with GlaxoSmithKline, which is testing its vaccine adjuvant technology. According to the U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline, the use of an adjuvant may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose.

“We are pleased to take the significant step of initiating the Phase 3 clinical trial at sites around the world,” said Takashi Nagao, CEO and president of Medicago. “This brings us one step closer to delivering an important new COVID-19 vaccine and contributing to the global fight against the pandemic along with our partner GSK.”

Phase 3 of Medicago’s vaccine trials will enrol up to 30,000 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 65, followed by adults over the age of 65 and adults with comorbidities. The trial will take place across 10 countries, starting with Canada and the U.S., and seeks to enrol men and women from racially diverse populations.

Ottawa has signed a deal with Medicago to secure the rights to buy 76 million doses of its vaccine. The federal government has also pledged $173 million for the company’s vaccine research and development and for the construction of its Quebec City manufacturing facility.

According to federal government data, just over five per cent of Canadians have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of March 6.

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

READ MORE: Public Health Agency of Canada budgets $5B for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read