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Factbox: COVID-19 vaccine projects backed by the Canadian government

TORONTO (Reuters) - Quebec’s Medicago, owned by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma and Philip Morris, said on Thursday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, developed with limited government funding, would go into late-stage trials before the end of the year, cementing its lead in the race for a Canadian-made vaccine.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accompanied by Melanie Joly (2-R), minister of economic development and official languages and Navdeep Bains (R), minister of innovation, science and industry, speaks with Krishnaraj Tiwari about vaccines at the National Research Council of Canada in Montreal, Quebec, Canada August 31, 2020. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

The following is a roundup of other coronavirus vaccine projects in Canada that have also won federal support.

- In May, Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) said it would collaborate with CanSino Biologics, a Chinese company with longstanding ties to Canada developing a vaccine based in part on Canadian research.

The agency said C$44 million ($34 million) in previously announced funding would be used to upgrade an NRC manufacturing facility in Montreal so the experimental vaccine could be produced in Canada. But the collaboration fell apart over an export approval issue that has never been fully explained.

- The federal government pledged C$23.3 million to fund a new manufacturing facility and other operations at the University of Saskatchewan’s VIDO-InterVac vaccine developer in March, and another C$23 million to support clinical testing and trials in April. Its experimental vaccine is expected to enter early stage trials around December.

- VBI Vaccines Inc, which has research operations in Ottawa, received C$56 million in federal funding that was announced in August. Its COVID-19 candidate may also go into trials around the end of the year.

- Precisions NanoSystems won up to C$18.2 million to develop a messenger RNA-based vaccine, similar to one developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE that reported impressive trial data earlier this week.

- Nova Scotia’s IMV Inc was awarded more than C$3 million to develop its experimental vaccine, which could go into trials before the end of 2020.

- Canada’s National Research Council is providing a combined C$23.2 million in funding to six other early-stage projects.

- The federal government earmarked C$600 million over two years for trials of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and their manufacture.

Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Denny Thomas and Bill Berkrot

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