Providence Therapeutics, a Calgary and Toronto-based biotech company, signed Thursday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Colombia’s VaxThera and Colombian Government to develop and manufacture COVID-19 vaccines at a production facility in Rionegro, Antioquia.
The signing took place during a ceremony presided over by President Iván Duque at the Presidential Palace in Bogotá. As part of the bilateral collaboration, Providence will provide access to its first generation PTX-COVID19-B pipeline of vaccines against COVID-19 variants, and its mRNA platform for developing other vaccines against infectious diseases and oncology.
VaxThera is engaged in bio research and development of vaccines throughout the region, and is currently designing a manufacturing facility to produce up to 100 million vaccines does per year. This collaboration is backed by the Ministry of Health, as part of its efforts to boost capacity for essential medicines and ensure vaccine security in the future.
The MOU also contemplates a collaboration that will make Colombia a hub in the region for manufacturing and development of vaccines, as well as the foundation for the training of technical and management personnel for the industry The collaboration will also foster and promote alliances with local and regional entities, including academia, that may lead to the development of new technologies in Life Sciences.
President Iván Duque described the signing as a “historic day for Colombia (…), and proof that the demand for affordable and effective COVID-19 vaccines very much exists.” Providence and VaxThera will start with small vaccine batches but scale up rapidly by June of 2022.
On Friday, Colombia reached 62 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccines.