JOBS Canadian Pharmaceutical Innovators Collaborating To Produce Monkeypox Vaccine
Tuesday, 09 August 2022 12:00.PM
St. Catharines-based sterile-fill injectable drug manufacturer Biolyse Pharma Corporation — has signed a memorandum of understanding with Montreal-based biopharmaceutical PnuVax Incorporated to mass-manufacture a key vaccine in the battle against monkeypox.
Currently, almost 1,000 cases of the monkeypox (MPXV) virus have been identified in Canada — the disease is painful, involving lesions and possible hospital visits. It is highly contagious and anyone can be at risk.
Together, the two companies have synergies to allow for an immediate scaling-up to produce millions of doses domestically, in the fight against monkeypox.
"We have Health Canada-licensed, Industrial Biosafety Level 2 manufacturing facilities, and all the equipment necessary to produce biologics for a monkeypox vaccine and the cGMP- fill and finishing capacity," said Brigitte Kiecken, President of Biolyse.
PnuVax CEO and co-founder Dr. Donald Gerson says: "In response to the emerging monkeypox outbreak, our team at PnuVax, in collaboration with Biolyse, is gearing-up to use our joint-capacity and expertise to help build the global supply of the monkeypox vaccine and reduce infections in Canada and abroad."
Kiecken adds: "Few in North America have the expertise of Dr. Gerson with monkeypox and related smallpox vaccines. He previously produced 350-million doses of the smallpox vaccine for the US national stockpile in the early 2000s, during a bioterrorism scare. We are lucky to have access to this expertise."
John Fulton, a pharmaceutical industry consultant and project partner at Biolyse, says: "As it stands, the Canadian federal government has been reticent about its monkeypox vaccine stockpile, with concerns in media accounts that it may be insufficient, as a global outbreak accelerates.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for these Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs to come together and contribute significantly to the global response," he said.
The monkeypox project could add up to 50 employees to each company.
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