USask VIDO-InterVac research team. (Photo: University of Saskatchewan)

USask’s VIDO-InterVac partners with Canadian manufacturers to combat COVID-19

A world leader in developing vaccines and technologies to combat infectious diseases, the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) has partnered with Dalton Pharma Services (Dalton), as well as Biodextris, in the effort to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

Under the terms of the recently announced partnership, Dalton will be responsible for the formulation and fill/finish of VIDO-InterVac’s innovative COVID-19 vaccine, to be used in early phase clinical trials in Dalton`s state-of-the-art cGMP, Health Canada-approved biopharmaceutical facility in Toronto.

“The development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine is of utmost urgency and VIDO-InterVac is excited to have Dalton as a trusted partner as we work together on this critical initiative,” said Dr. Volker Gerdts (DVM), director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac, in a news release.

As reported by CBC, Biodextris, a company based near Montreal, has also confirmed it will manufacture part of the vaccine for early-stage human clinical trials planned to begin later this year, pending approval.

Dr. Paul Hodgson (PhD), associate director of business development at VIDO-InterVac, confirmed the partnership to CBC, stating ”they are also world-leading companies.… We've worked with Dalton for probably the better part of two decades. Biodextris has roots in major pharmaceutical companies, so these guys are well-established companies.”

In April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $23 million in funding for VIDO-InterVac to accelerate a COVID-19 vaccine, and the Saskatchewan government invested another $4 million. This funding supports pre-clinical testing and clinical trials, essential steps to ensuring that vaccines are effective and safe for human use. Human trials will occur in the fall.

Further information is available on the VIDO-InterVac website.

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