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The Future of Canadian Vaccine Manufacturing Is Here — and Ready for Future Pandemics

Matthieu Puyet 

Head of Manufacturing & Supply & Toronto Site Head, Sanofi Canada

Kate Winchester

Head of Manufacturing,  Sanofi Canada

Sanofi Canada’s leading advanced biotechnology manufacturing and upcoming state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facilities are helping Canada to be future-ready and self-sufficient.

The past few years have underscored the vital importance of access to made-in-Canada vaccines, treatments, and resources to help protect Canadians from illness. At the onset of the pandemic, many organizations quickly mobilized to produce the tools needed to combat the virus, like PPE and testing kits. However, when it came to vaccines, Canada had to reach beyond its borders to deliver to Canadians the treatment and protections they needed. 

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada recognized the importance of building a strong and resilient biomanufacturing and life sciences industry and the need for domestic production capacity that can be quickly adapted and scaled. Specifically, investments in Canada’s domestic life sciences and vaccine manufacturing sectors are bridging this gap to help ensure a steady supply of the vaccines and treatments Canadians need now and in the future. 

Sanofi plays a key role in this strategy. “With a nearly 110-year heritage at our Toronto Campus — which began with Canada’s first mass production of insulin — we remain dedicated to making a difference in patients’ daily lives, wherever they live, and enabling them to enjoy a healthier life,” says Matthieu Puyet, Head of Manufacturing and Supply and Toronto Site Head at Sanofi Canada. 

When looking ahead, focusing on a few key priorities will help push the industry forward to help protect Canadians from future pandemics.    

Boosting Canada’s readiness 

“As Canada’s largest investor in advanced manufacturing, we’re committed to investing in and leading advanced biotechnology manufacturing,” says Puyet. 

With partnership investments with all levels of government, Toronto will be home to facilities to support domestic capacity and preparedness for future pandemics. 

“We’re going to have two new state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facilities, which bring so much potential to our industry,” says Kate Winchester, Head of Manufacturing at Sanofi Canada. “One of these facilities is a new end-to-end manufacturing facility to produce seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines that will help protect Canadians and their families. This building will have flexible filling and packaging systems that will allow us to meet emerging needs.”

Developing an agile, skilled workforce

With over 2,000 employees at the Toronto Campus, Sanofi Canada employs more than 300 focused R&D staff and 180 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) co-op and research students each year, and 300 jobs will be available with the opening of the new facilities.

“It’s an exciting time for Canadians in STEM. We have world-class, industry-leading facilities where our own experts — whether in science, manufacturing, or technology — are making a positive impact on public health here while growing their careers,” says Winchester. “Additionally, one priority we have is to nurture emerging talent by giving them a meaningful place to learn with the latest technologies.”

Innovative smart factories are the future

Digital technologies will continue to have a major impact on everything Sanofi does moving forward. 

“We’ve embedded digital infrastructure into our newest facilities, making them smart factories from day one,” says Puyet. “Our artificial intelligence uses predictive analytics to provide data to help us make faster, informed decisions and pivot processes while ensuring consistent quality, and to deliver products more efficiently.”

A smart factory in Toronto means Canada will be ready when the time is right to implement these technologies in a pandemic. 

“It’s an exciting time to work in our industry here in Canada — there hasn’t always been this level of investment,” says Winchester. “It means a lot to have the opportunity to work in this field, to contribute to public health both locally and beyond, and to continue to make an impact on Canadians’ lives by delivering essential medicines.”

Learn more at sanofi.ca.

This story was created by Mediaplanet on behalf of a Canadian biopharmaceutical company.

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