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About us

Our story

Doing things differently since 1999.

The story of Medicago is rooted in a long track record of innovation and perseverance. Even our company name – the Latin word for alfalfa, which was the first plant we worked with – embodies our culture of adaptation. We're proud of our humble beginnings as much as we are of our current growth and global reach. We understand better than most that the path to success in not a straight line.

As a pioneer of plant-based transient expression and manufacturing, Medicago has always sought a more effective way to improve human health. With nearly 20 years of experience and wisdom behind us, we are ready to disrupt the traditional approach to vaccines and therapeutics.

Here is a quick look at some of the key events and milestones that have helped shape the company as we exist today. 

1997

Partnership between Agriculture Canada and Laval University

1999

Medicago incorporates after out-licensing the technology from Laval University and Agriculture Canada

2003

Andy Sheldon joins as CEO, builds management team and changes the company business model to R&D pharmaceutical biotech focusing on vaccines & therapeutic proteins

2005

Development of new transient expression technologies with Nicotiana benthamiana.

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2006

Medicago's Initial Public Offering (IPO)

2009

Medicago announces production of the H1N1 Pandemic candidate vaccine 19 days after publication of the virus genetic sequence

2011

Medicago builds a GMP manufacturing plant in Durham, North Carolina with the creation of Medicago USA

 

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2012

Rapid fire test to produce more than 10M doses of H1N1 VLP vaccine in one month through a partnership with U.S. DARPA

Single dose of H5N1 VLP vaccine shows cross-protection against H5 and H2 strains

2013

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharmaceutical Corp. becomes majority shareholder of Medicago

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2015

Announcement of a major investment: Medicago will build a fully integrated manufacturing factory in Quebec City.

Mandate of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC): Production of Ebola Virus Antibodies for the Sudan Strain.

2017

Medicago is proud to announce the start of a Phase 3 efficacy study for its seasonal quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) candidate.

2018

Groundbreaking ceremony of the new Quebec City factory.

2019

Announcement of the results of phase 3 of the seasonal flu vaccine candidate.

1997
Today

The President and Chief Executive Officer

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Medicago's culture is centred on innovation and quality in a uniquely entrepreneurial environment. We deliver key projects successfully thanks to our team spirit.
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Bruce D. Clark

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Bruce Clark joined Medicago as CEO in March 2017. Since 2013, Dr. Clark served as a member of Medicago's board of Directors where he acquired a deep understanding of the company thus ensuring continuity of the corporate strategy and objectives. He brings with him a broad experience in the management of commercial operations, regulatory and quality having brought new products to market on the international scene. He spent many years as the head of regulatory and scientific affairs in companies such as Apotex Canada, Sanofi Synthelabo Canada, GSK, Medexus inc. and most recently as Vice President of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs of Philip Morris International based in Switzerland. He has been extensively involved with both European and US Generic pharmaceutical associations on the issue of biosimilars and complex therapeutics and has represented the industry in dialogue with political decision-makers as well as regulatory authorities at both National and State levels. Co-author of the biosimilar handbook published by the EGA and co-author of the Canadian handbook on Second Entry Biologics published by the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association. He completed his studies in molecular biology and biochemistry at the University of Toronto where he received his PhD in 1997.

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Carolyn Finkle

Chief Operating Officer

Carolyn brings a vast amount of expertise in drugs and biologic development, regulatory affairs, quality, pharmacovigilance, clinical development, medical writing, manufacturing and commercialization – key assets to transition our organization to the next step toward the commercialization of our first product. Carolyn's leadership will be crucial for the future success of Medicago.

Carolyn's responsibilities will be the day-to-day administration and operation of Medicago. She will sit on the Executive Committee and run the newly created Operating Committee.

Before joining Medicago, she held various positions including:

  • VP Regulatory Affairs, Karyopharm
  • Head of Commercial, Kinapse
  • SVP Regulatory Affairs, inVentiv Health
  • VP, Global Regulatory Affairs, Catalent Pharma Solutions
  • Senior Director, International Regulatory Affairs, MedImmune,
  • VP, Global Product Development Strategy and VP North America Consulting, PAREXEL International
  • VP Regulatory Affairs at Celsion CorporationVP Preclinical Development at TherImmune Research Corporation
  • VP Drug Development at GeminX Biotechnologies
  • Director of Preclinical Development at ConjuChem and Manager of Preclinical
  • Development at BioChem Pharma.

Carolyn holds a M.Sc. Chemistry from the University of Toronto, Canada and has a B.Sc. Chemistry from the University of Ottawa, Canada. She has worked in academic research at Stanford University, Toronto General Hospital and Chiba University, Japan, prior to her industry managerial appointments.

She currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, lecturing the Master's Program in Clinical and Translational Research, and Course Director for the Pharmaceutical Education and Research Institute (PERI), as well as, Stanford and UCSF Center for Excellence in Regulatory Sciences, and previous contributor to the UCSF American Course of Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences (ACDRS).

Carolyn has co-authored 1 book chapter on First-in-Man global regulatory requirements, over 18 abstracts and 12 papers for industry associations and scientific publications and chaired DIA sessions (global regulatory) at the annual meetings. She has received numerous awards and scholarships throughout her career. 

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“Medicago's culture is centred on innovation and quality in a uniquely entrepreneurial environment.”
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Mike Wanner

Chief Financial Officer and U.S. Site Manager

Mike Wanner is Medicago's Chief Financial Officer and U.S. Site Manager, and is responsible for developing the financial strategies of the company and for corporate governance. He also serves as executive lead of the IT function and strategies. He was previously President and CEO of Abeome, a biotechnology company developing therapeutic and diagnostic monoclonal antibodies and CEO for Oncose and ProLinia in Athens, GA. Prior to those positions, Mike served for over 11 years as CFO for Merial and Rhône Mérieux, Inc. (RMI), one of the world's leading animal health companies, where he was involved in the construction and management of a large-scale vaccine production facility in the U.S. 

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“Bringing new and innovative products to late-stage clinical development and commercialization has been a long journey, but thanks to our highly talented and dedicated team, we will make these game-changing solutions available to the public very soon.”
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Nathalie Landry

Executive Vice President, Scientific and Medical Affairs

Nathalie Landry is a dynamic biotech leader with more than 25 years of experience leading teams and programs to successful milestones. At Medicago, she oversees a multidisciplinary team in charge of R&D, preclinical and clinical development, clinical immunology, as well as scientific and medical affairs. Nathalie represents Medicago at numerous international conferences and meetings and is the co-author of several scientific publications and patents. She joined Medicago in 2000 as Director of Strategic Development and later became Senior Director of Product Development. In 2007, she was named Vice President.

Prior to joining Medicago she worked for a start-up biotech company developing and producing anticancer compounds, where she held various positions. Nathalie earned a Master's degree in microbiology-immunology in 1989 and an MBA in 1997, both from Laval University. 

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“The Medicago team has successfully combined plant science, molecular biology and biotechnology to create new and better products.”
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Michael Schunk

Executive Vice President, Operations

Dr. Michael Schunk has more than 20 years of experience in the vaccine industry. He was Vice President of Quality at Medicago before taking his current role. He led manufacturing at Sanofi Pasteur, where he was responsible for both viral and bacterial vaccine manufacturing operations in multiple facilities on a large manufacturing and R&D site in Toronto. Michael also held a number of other leadership positions at Sanofi Pasteur, including Senior Director, Quality Control at the Marcy L'Etoile site in France. His DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and DVSc (Doctorate of Veterinary Science) in pathology are both from the University of Guelph. 

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“At Medicago, we empower people to fulfill our purpose.”
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Lorrie Deyelle

Vice President, Human Resources

Lorrie Deyelle has been transforming the way human resource groups develop, build and measure business value for over 30 years. As Vice President of Human Resources at Medicago, Lorrie is the leader responsible for the identification, development, and implementation of global human resource strategies. She provides guidance to the Medicago Executive team, defining and transitioning internal client groups towards process improvement, increased outcome and customer service orientation, and cost effectiveness. 

Prior, Lorrie held the positions of Head of Human Resources and Facilities for Kinapse Inc, CHRO for Carecentrix and Vice President of HR at PAREXEL International. Lorrie is certified nationally as GPHR and SCP through SHRM and CCP for World at Work. A magna cum laude graduate, she holds a BS in International Business from Franklin Piece University in Rindge, NH. Beyond to her corporate role, Lorrie is a Professor at Northeastern University where she has taught a variety of undergraduate classes and the SHRM certification prep class since 1999.  

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Jean-Luc Martre

Vice President, Marketing and Business Development

Jean-Luc Martre has over 30 years of commercial experience in the pharmaceutical industry in sales, marketing, customer service, business development, communications and government affairs. 

Before joining Medicago he acquired his experience in specialty pharma, OTC, nutraceuticals and vaccines with Lerdele (Pfizer), Ciba Geigy (Novartis), Glaxo Welcome (GSK), Biochem Vaccines (Shire/ID Biological/ GSK), Biovail International SRL. He contributed to successfully launch a dozen of products in a wide spectrum of medical specialties. His management experience includes the implementation of a nationwide customer services and distribution, sales force and contract management teams at national and international level. 

OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM

We're proud to count some of the industry's finest among our ranks. Meet the members of our management team.

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“The more we work with this technological platform, the more we realize the tremendous capacity it offers to discover, develop and produce efficacious vaccines and therapeutic proteins.”

Marc-André D'Aoust

Vice President, Research & Innovation

Dr. Marc-André D’Aoust joined the Research team at Medicago in July 1999. Over the years, he has lead the development of the plant-based Proficia™ technology, the virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine technology and the VLPExpress™ high-throughput discovery platform of the company. As Vice President of Research & Innovation, he advances Medicago’s technological vision and is responsible for the discovery, the development and the protection of the technological assets of the company. 

 

Marc-André is a co-inventor on more than 650 patents and patent applications related to the platform or the products of the company. He studied plant biochemistry and molecular biology at Laval University where he received his Ph.D. in 2000. 

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"A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit."

Manon Couture

Vice President, Process Development

Dr. Couture is acting Vice-President of Process Development at Medicago. Her primary responsibilities include development of Medicago's Bioprocesses, scale-up, technology transfer and manufacturing of VLP-based vaccines and other biological products from plants to support clinical trials. She joined the company 2000 after she received a PhD degree in biochemistry from Laval University, with specialization in biophysics, protein engineering, expression and purification, and structural biology. She initially joined Medicago as Project Leader, then has served in Director-Level functions related to early process and product development. As a member of Operations Committee, Dr. Couture provides innovative leadership and direction to the process development and operations in line with the company's strategic objectives.

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“My team and I help Medicago innovate sustainably through the efficient management of new projects and regulatory affairs.”

Yatika Kohli

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Project Management Office

Dr. Yatika Kohli is a candid professional of strategic foresight & business acumen with over 15 years of experience in leading ready-to-launch activities in a fast-paced, high growth environment at global biopharmaceutical companies. She has expertise in developing global regulatory & clinical strategy of biologics and biosimilar products with project management experience across several therapeutic areas and technical initiatives. She has registered two US vaccines at Sanofi Pasteur and one EU biosimilar at Apotex.

Yatika has a strong commitment to shaping our future through developing our youth. She is a member of the advisory board at a local community college and provides industry perspective to shape the curriculum for the Clinical Research Associate and Regulatory Affairs diploma program. She is also an involved member of the Indian/Hindu community in engaging the youth back into their roots. 

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Brian J. Ward

Medical Officer

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Patricia Schimke

Vice President, Analytical Development and Quality Control

Where we work

North American roots with global ambitions.

Quebec City

Quebec  |  Canada

Medicago's history and head office are based in Quebec City, Canada where the research, product development, process development, and management functions are located. We have a 2300m2 cGMP pilot production facility which is used to prepare material for clinical studies and a 1300m2 greenhouse that meets strict confinement standards.

To meet anticipated global demand, Medicago is currently building a new multi-million dollar complex in Quebec that will support our growing workforce and commercial production. The new facility will increase our production and research capacity for future projects such as pandemic flu, new vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and other protein-based therapeutics.

Learn more about life a
Medicago's headquarters

Raleigh-Durham

North Carolina  |  USA

Medicago USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary, is located in the Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina. Medicago USA's operations started in 2010 through a partnership with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Our complex in RTP includes a 10,000m2 cGMP facility with a fully automated greenhouse and a state-of-the-art extraction and purification unit.

The manufacturing facility in RTP currently produces vaccines for our clinical studies and will soon support the commercial launch of our quadrivalent VLP influenza vaccine candidate. 

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at Medicago USA

Our Network

Collaboration has long been a driver of our success. 

When it comes to addressing global health challenges, it's impossible to go at it alone. Medicago's technological and clinical accomplishments have been possible in large part thanks to the long-time, meaningful partnerships we've established with some of the leading educational institutions, researchers, and government agencies.

Finances Québec
Économie science et innovation
Cqdm
Développement économique Canada pour les régions du Québec
Santé Canada
Public Health Agency of Canada
Ville de Québec
Québec international
Defence RID
Genome Québec
CEA
Darpa
Path
Immunovaccine
Université Laval
nfid

Interested in a potential partnership with Medicago?