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

Katherine Swampy
Maskwacis chiefs are opposed to RAPID Response

Alberta Treaty 6 First Nations say they were not properly consulted

UCP Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr spoke to the Ponoka Chamber about the potential a new provincial government would provide to help support small business.
File photo
MLA Ron Orr: ‘Our constituents … want us to defend their livelihoods and freedoms’

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA stands with 15 other UCP members calling out retreat on restrictions

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

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta government said in August that it would enter into the agreement to help diversify its energy sector

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin awarded $5.1 million grant for additional RCMP officers

10 Additional RCMP officers to serve the City of Wetaskiwin as a result of the grant.

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Most Read