New Delhi: The Government of Canada has long supported the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization’s (VIDO) cutting-edge work in the discovery and development of vaccines for some of the world’s most infectious diseases.
In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada proposed a $59.2-million commitment to VIDO through Western Economic Diversification Canada to support the development of its COVID-19 vaccine candidates and expand its facility in Saskatoon.
The funding would allow VIDO to conduct clinical trials for its two COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which are currently under development.
VIDO would also use the funds to expand its animal facility to be able to house a broader range of animal species, which would be used for pre-clinical work by VIDO and by other vaccine developers, strengthening Canada’s life sciences ecosystem.
Lastly, the funds would also be used to create laboratory space for VIDO to work with biosafety level-4 pathogens, a capacity that currently only exists in Canada at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. This new animal and level-4 laboratory space would allow VIDO to continue its important work to understand and prevent cross-species leaps of viruses like swine flu and COVID-19.
Other recent investments in VIDO include:
$35 million, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, to the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), including $12 million to expand its biomanufacturing capacity to support clinical trials (March 23, 2020) and $23 million to accelerate development of a vaccine against COVID-19 (April 23, 2020).
Over $11 million in operational funding to support COVID-19 research from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). (March 2020)
CFI also contributed $300,000 to VIDO for new imaging equipment to help understand COVID-19 infection (November 6, 2020).
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research contributed $1 million through the federal rapid research funding initiative for research projects aimed at addressing COVID-19. (March 6, 2020)