QUEBEC — A Canadian biopharmaceutical company says it has received promising early test results for its plant-derived vaccine for COVID-19.
Privately held Medicago says interim results of a Phase 1 clinical trial found that 100 per cent of subjects developed an antibody response after two doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
“These are very promising results,” said Nathalie Landry, Medicago’s executive vice-president of scientific and medical affairs in a news release.
“We also observed that the antibody levels were higher after vaccination than those observed in convalescent sera from people who recovered from the disease.”
The Quebec City-based company says the side-effects were generally mild to moderate and short in duration.
The Phase 1 clinical trial was a randomized, partially blinded study of 180 healthy people.
Based on the Phase 1 data, Medicago plans to proceed with a Phase 2/3 clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, subject to regulatory approval.
The news comes a day after stock markets worldwide rallied on a report from Pfizer that a potential COVID-19 vaccine it’s developing with German partner BioNTech may be 90 per cent effective, based on early but incomplete test results.
““The positive results of our Phase 1 clinical trial are a step forward in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and we are confidently moving forward to our Phase 2/3 trial. We’re pleased that Medicago’s innovative manufacturing technology is helping to diversify the classes of COVID-19 vaccines candidates in development,” said CEO Dr. Bruce Clark.
The federal government has signed a deal with Medicago to secure the rights to buy 76 million doses of its vaccine.
Medicago will also receive $173 million in funding from Ottawa for its vaccine research and development and for the construction of its Quebec City manufacturing facility.
Ottawa is also investing $18.2 million in a potential vaccine from British Columbia’s Precision NanoSystems and the National Research Council is to spend $23 million to support other Canadian vaccine initiatives.
Medicago was founded in 1999 and says its team includes over 450 scientific experts and employees in Canada and the United States, with academic affiliations in Europe and South Africa.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2020.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version described the federal government funding incorrectly.
Coronavirus in BC: More than 940 COVID-19 cases confirmed in one day – CTV News Vancouver
B.C. health officials announced another 941 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, shattering the province’s previous record for daily infections.
The latest update from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix also set new records for hospitalizations and active cases in B.C.
In a written statement, Henry and Dix urged people across the province to curb social interactions as much as possible, as required under B.C.’s temporary public health order.
“We need to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our province and that needs to happen now,” the health officials said. “Let’s remember that every case of COVID-19 is a person who requires support and care, who may become severely ill and need to be in hospital, and whose family will experience the stress, emotional burden and for some, the tragedy, that has come with this virus.”
There have now been 28,348 cases of the novel coronavirus identified in B.C. since the start of the pandemic, and 19,605 people have recovered.
The latest infections pushed the province’s active caseload to a record 7,732, while hospitalizations reached a new high of 284. That includes 61 patients struggling in intensive care or critical care.
The previous record for daily cases was 767, set on Nov. 18. Prior to November, the province had never topped 400 cases in 24 hours.
Another 10,283 people are under active public health monitoring after being exposed to a known case of COVID-19.
Henry and Dix also announced two more coronavirus outbreaks in health-care facilities, at Valley Haven Care Home and Little Mountain Place. The outbreak at Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge has been declared over.
New outbreaks in the health-care system have been declared on a daily basis in B.C., as the province’s rapidly surging caseload continues spilling over into environments where elderly people face some of the greatest risks of severe complications and death from the disease.
As of Monday, there were 60 active outbreaks in long-term care homes, assisted living facilities and acute care units across the province – and 970 of B.C.’s active cases involved care home staff and residents.
“B.C.’s health-care workers are in our labs and hospitals, at our testing sites and in our communities. These people are our health-care system. They are there to support all of us without question and without pause, and we need to show that same support to them by all of us doing our part,” Henry and Dix said.
“That is also why everyone, young and old, needs to pause their social interactions and increase their layers of protection and stay within their local communities as much as possible.”
Under B.C.’s temporary restrictions, which will remain in place until at least Dec. 7, residents are asked to limit in-person social interactions to what’s known as their “core bubble.” For anyone in a shared living situation, such as families and roommates, that means only seeing people from your own household.
Those who live alone are allowed to choose a “core bubble” consisting of a maximum of two people, such as partners, close friends or family members.
Events of any size are to be cancelled or delayed, though officials said people can still hold small weddings, funerals or time-sensitive ceremonies such as baptisms, though there are strict rules including that no more than 10 people attend.
More information on B.C.’s public health order is available online.
COVID-19: A record 941 new cases in B.C. and 10 additional deaths – Vancouver Sun
Article content continued
“By talking to your children about wearing their masks in school, you can help us create that respectful culture of mask wearing,” said Mooring, who conceded that there are some staff and students who, for various reasons, can’t wear masks and some learning situations where masks are inappropriate.
Henry said Monday that students are in schools with a group of people they see day-to-day, unlike businesses where people interact with others they don’t know, necessitating wearing a mask. She did say she supports mask wearing in common areas and among adults at schools.
B.C. health officials say there are currently 10,283 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to known cases. A further 19,605 people who tested positive have since recovered.
A total of 358 people have died from COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began, while 284 people are currently being treated in hospital, including 61 who are in critical care.
The province announced two new health care facility outbreaks at Valley Haven Care Home in Chilliwack and Little Mountain Place care home in Vancouver, while an outbreak at Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge in Richmond has been declared over.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Coastal Health has issued a COVID-19 exposure alert for a popular downtown Vancouver pub. The health agency says anyone who visited The Morrissey at 1227 Granville Street on either Nov. 12 or 13, between 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on both days, may have been exposed to the virus and should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. Those with symptoms are advised to call their family doctor or 811, seek testing and self-isolate.
MORE TO COME
With a file from The Canadian Press
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941 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths reported as B.C. continues to shatter records – Global News
B.C. reported a record-high 941 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 10 new deaths.
The total shattered the previous daily record of 762 cases recorded last week.
Of the new cases, 678 were in the Fraser Health region and 174 were in Vancouver Coastal Health.
Coronavirus: B.C. orders all indoor group fitness activities to close immediately
The 10 deaths brought B.C.’s COVID-19 death toll to 358.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose by seven to 284, a new record high. Of those, 61 are in intensive care, an increase of three from Monday when the province reported 1,933 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths over a span of three days.
Christmas events put ‘on hold’ by pandemic
There are 7,732 active cases in the province and a total of 10,283 people are in self-isolation due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.
Earlier in the day, the province ordered all gymnastic centres, dance studios, martial arts venues and yoga studios in British Columbia to close immediately while new guidance is being developed.
B.C. releases November 2020 coronavirus modelling data
Last week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new orders, including a mandatory mask mandate in indoor public spaces, the extension of Lower Mainland restrictions on social gatherings and a suspension on in-person religious services.
The order put the brakes on holiday events such as the VanDusen Festival of Lights, the Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train or The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens in Victoria.
On Nov. 12, Henry released modelling data that indicated British Columbia could see more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day if people don’t cut down on contacts.
— With files from Richard Zussman
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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