Medicago prepares for the commercialization of the company’s vaccine candidates
04/12/2020 — QUEBEC CITY, Québec — (BUSINESS WIRE)
Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, Canada, today announced Takashi Nagao as the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to becoming President and CEO, Mr. Nagao served as the Chairman of the Board of Medicago, where for the last four years, he has guided Medicago executives to get the company to where it is today.
Medicago, a research and development company for the last 20 years, is embarking on a transformative year, one that will see the company build on its R&D roots to become a company that also produces and commercializes vaccines and other immunotherapies. Mr. Nagao has extensive experience leading pharmaceutical companies through the pre-commercial and commercial process and is well positioned to ensure the successful launch of Medicago’s COVID-19 and influenza vaccines, subject to regulatory approvals. Mr. Nagao will continue Medicago’s evolution towards its goal of being a fully operational commercial entity, able to respond to the needs of the global public health community and medical authorities and professionals.
“Taking on this new role with Medicago during this exciting time is a great honour for me,” said Mr. Nagao, President and Chief Executive Officer, Medicago. “I want our employees, investors, and stakeholders such as the Government of Canada to know that I will put all my efforts into seeing our COVID-19 and influenza vaccines through to a successful launch to protect as many people as possible.”
From 2007 to 2017, Mr. Nagao oversaw the establishment of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation’s U.S. presence and led the team that successfully achieved NDA of RADICAVA®, the first FDA-approved drug in over 20 years for the patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Prior to that, Mr. Nagao was a Managing Director in investment banking at J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank where he was responsible for global clients and leading equity and cross-border M&A transactions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector in North America, Japan and Europe. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mr. Nagao succeeds Dr. Bruce D. Clark, who held the position of President and CEO of Medicago since 2017 and was instrumental in the development of Medicago’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Medicago recently announced the start of Phase 2/3 clinical trial of its plant-derived VLP vaccine candidate for COVID-19 to evaluate its efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity, based on the positive Phase 1 results and subsequent allowance to advance to Phase 2/3 by the Canadian regulatory authorities. The company is also building a new facility in Quebec to increase Canada’s domestic capacity for manufacturing vaccines, producing up to a billion doses annually.
“Medicago is at an inflection point. We are moving from a research and development focused organization to become a commercial entity supplying vaccines to Canadians and people around the world,” said Mr. Nagao.
Medicago is a biopharmaceutical company and pioneer in plant-derived therapeutics. Founded in 1999 with the belief that innovative approaches and rigorous research would bring new solutions in healthcare.
Our mission is to improve global health outcomes by leveraging innovative plant-based technologies for rapid responses to emerging global healthcare challenges. Medicago is committed to advancing therapeutics against life-threatening diseases worldwide. Our team includes over 450 scientific experts and employees in Canada and the United States and academic affiliations in Europe and South Africa.
Medicago has previously demonstrated its capability to be a first responder in a flu pandemic. In 2009, the company produced a research-grade vaccine candidate against H1N1 in just 19 days. In 2012, Medicago manufactured 10 million doses of a monovalent influenza vaccine candidate within one month for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense. In 2015, Medicago also demonstrated in principle that it could rapidly produce an anti-Ebola monoclonal antibody cocktail for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information: www.medicago.com
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Alissa Von Bargen
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