French drug giant investing $500M for new vaccine lab in Toronto

Toronto will be home to a new state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility thanks to a $500-million investment by a French drug company.

New facility will produce whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus vaccines

New facility will be built at Sanofi's Canadian headquarters in North York. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Toronto will be home to a new state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility thanks to a $500-million investment by a French drug company.

Sanofi is expected to make the announcement Thursday at the company's Canadian headquarters in North York, where the new facility will be built and completed by 2021, a release sent out by the company said.

This money marks "one of the largest-ever investments by Sanofi in a single building," the release said.

With the completion of the new facility, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, will now be able to meet "growing demand" for the pertussis vaccine, better known as whooping cough. The new laboratory will also produce vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus.

The first large-scale commercial insulin production happened at the Sanofi Pasteur site in Toronto, which, until the 1980s, was also the sole Canadian supplier of the diabetes treatment.

Navdeep Bains, Canada's minister of innovation, science and economic development, and Steven Del Duca, Ontario's economic development minister are expected to join the company at the announcement on Thursday.