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Governments and Sanofi to invest $925 million to expand Toronto Sanofi vaccine facility


Sanofi vaccine facility in North York to undergo major expansion

NORTH YORK, ON., March 31, 2021 — The governments of Canada, Ontario and Toronto are partnering with Sanofi, a leading global biopharmaceutical and vaccines company, to expand its Toronto facility to meet growing demand for flu vaccines, boost Canada’s preparedness for future pandemics and create 300 high-quality jobs.

The new Sanofi facility will be located on Sanofi’s existing site at 1755 Steeles Ave. W. in North York.

The Government of Canada is investing $415 million, and the Government of Ontario is investing $55 million through a performance-based loan, toward construction of Sanofi’s $925 million state-of-art vaccine facility to meet growing demand for flu vaccines, specifically for populations at greater risk of influenza.

Sanofi is also committing to an average of $79 million a year in research and development in Ontario or more than a half a billion dollars over the life of the agreement. Sanofi will also be leveraging leading scientists in the province giving them the industrial R&D experience that is valuable to companies.

At the municipal level, through the City of Toronto’s Gold Star program, the municipal government will help Sanofi navigate and expedite the development review and approval process for this important new facility.

The new facility may also be eligible for Toronto’s Imagination, Manufacturing, Innovation and Technology (IMIT) Financial Incentive Program, which provides grants to support new construction in targeted employment sectors, including biomedical operations and manufacturing.

“Today’s announcement is another example of the work that we can do when all levels of government work together to address the challenges that we are facing. I want to thank our federal and provincial partners for working with us on bringing this new site to fruition and for helping us create an environment that will ensure Sanofi is welcomed and can succeed,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

The investments will enable Sanofi to bulk manufacture Fluzone® High-Dose Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine, a flu vaccine approved for people 65 years and older, at its historic Connaught site in Toronto. The facility will include industrial scale Formulation, Filling and Packaging, a key requirement for pandemic preparedness. increasing supply availability in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

In addition to producing Sanofi’s FLUZONE® High-Dose Quadrivalent influenza vaccine, this new manufacturing facility will strategically grow Canada’s bio-manufacturing sector and install industrial scale capacity to strengthen Canada’s preparedness for future pandemics. 

“Today’s announcement demonstrates Canada’s ability to attract foreign investment and to develop facilities with made-in-Canada solutions. This once-in-a-generation investment shows our government’s commitment to rebuilding Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing sector, focusing on both short-term strategic solutions and a long–term vision,” said The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “By investing in this project, our government is helping to keep expertise in Canada, creating and maintaining highly skilled jobs, and securing the health and safety of Canadians. By fostering an environment where companies can invest and grow, leading life sciences firms like Sanofi are increasingly looking to this country to establish their manufacturing facilities,” said Champagne.

“This is a critical investment as it will create 300 high quality jobs and push Ontario toward becoming less reliant on others for the production of flu and potentially other vaccines,” said Premier Ford. “By supporting companies like Sanofi we will continue to strengthen our excellent pharmaceutical sector and ensure we are prepared for future public health events with Made in Ontario products.”

The project will result in the production of more flu shots in Canada, while strengthening Ontario’s biopharmaceutical industry, making the province a strong candidate for future vaccine production. Through this investment, research and development activities will continue at Sanofi’s Toronto location and there will be expanded opportunities for the agricultural industry value chain.

“It is critical, now more than ever, that we build the capacity to supply Ontario and all of Canada with flu vaccines,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “The support we provide Sanofi will build on this province’s bio-manufacturing capacity, save lives and help prepare us for any future pandemic emergency.”

Following design, construction, testing, and qualification of the facility and equipment, the new Toronto Site facility will be operational by 2026. Currently, Sanofi Pasteur’s Toronto Site manufactures millions of doses of vaccines annually that help protect against pertussis, polio, diphtheria, and tetanus, among others, for more than 60 countries worldwide – including Canada.

“As a leading vaccines Company, we continuously look ahead to address the fast-growing demand for those influenza vaccines that have demonstrated clinical superiority against standard-dose vaccines. This new investment to produce FLUZONE® High-Dose Quadrivalent will help ensure more seniors around the world are better protected against influenza. In addition, it will be a key resource to assist against future pandemics,” said Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi. “We welcome the ongoing partnership with the Canadian authorities, who supported us to make today’s great news a reality; this will make the country, which has a strong legacy in vaccines research and development, one of our key hubs in our effort to protect and improve human health across the globe,” said Hudson.

This new facility is a second large manufacturing mandate for Sanofi at this site. In 2018, Ontario and Sanofi announced another large bulk vaccine manufacturing facility focused on doubling the site’s capacity to produce childhood vaccines.

Sanofi Pasteur, a subsidiary of French headquartered Sanofi, is Ontario’s largest brand name biopharmaceutical company with a full spectrum of R&D, manufacturing, clinical trials, regulatory and quality affairs and distribution operations.

Quick Facts

  • In addition to creating high-quality jobs, the project will result in hundreds of supporting jobs, including scientists, service providers, construction workers, egg farmers and transportation.
  • The project is expected to support $6 million in staff training and developing tomorrow’s workforce, including collaborations with Ontario post-secondary and industry institutions.
  • Ontario’s 44 public universities and colleges produce 49,300 STEM graduates (science, technology, engineering and math) each year, accounting for more than 42 percent of Canadian STEM graduates.
  • As Ontario’s new investment attraction agency, Invest Ontario will play a pivotal role in the province’s economic recovery and growth. It will initially focus on three important sectors for COVID-19 recovery where Ontario has a globally competitive advantage: advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and technology.
  • Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, brings total investments to $16.3 billion to protect people’s health and $23.3 billion to protect our economy. Ontario’s COVID-19 action plan support now totals $51 billion.

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