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Sask government commits $ 15 million to VIDO-InterVac if FEDs also commit money to research facilities

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The Saskatchewan government says it will set aside $ 15 million to fund VIDO-InterVac pandemic research if the federal government commits to contributing funds.

The province made the announcement on Tuesday. She said VIDO-InterVac organization Vaccines and Infectious Diseases-International Center for Vaccines at the University of Saskatchewan is doing world-class research and is now working to secure funding for a Level 4 laboratory.

Being a Level 4 structure would allow researchers to work with some of the most serious and deadly diseases of humans and animals. The province said the only other Level 4 facility in Canada is the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

“Canada must be one of those nations that produce vaccines, and Canada must be a world leader not only in research but also in the development and production of new vaccines,” Prime Minister Scott Moe told a news conference Tuesday. “And that has to happen here in Saskatchewan.”

Moe said production of various vaccines could begin at the new facility in 2022, with the capacity to produce up to 40 million a year.

Funding depends on the federal government committing funds to the structure, the province said. VIDO has already received a $ 250,000 pledge from the City of Saskatoon and “substantial contributions” from several private donors, the province said. VIDO is seeking $ 45 million in federal government support and ongoing operating funding for the project.

A spokesman for the Federal Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne said he was aware of the proposal and was following VIDO-InterVac’s progress closely.

“We are proud that the University of Saskatchewan University Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Organization International Vaccine Center (VIDO-InterVac) was one of the first projects supported by our government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said the federal government has already provided $ 46 million in contributions to help strengthen VIDO-InterVac research and build a pilot-scale production facility. He said he welcomed support from the province.

The Director of VIDO-InterVac, Dr. Volker Gerdtssaid, the research will help people, but also livestock.

“This facility will focus on both human and animal diseases and thus will have a major impact on our lives and those of our animals. It will help us prepare and be better prepared for future diseases. developing, “Gerdts said Tuesday.

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