British Columbia

Feds investing $175 million in Vancouver company studying COVID-19

The federal government is investing millions to boost online access to health services and to support a Vancouver biological company's research into treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

AbCellera Biologics studying antibodies that could be used to create a treatment

Caitlin Pritchard, research scientist at AbCellera, is pictured in their lab in Vancouver, British Columbia on Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The federal government is investing millions to boost online access to health services and to support a Vancouver biological company's research into treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new funding during his daily news conference in Ottawa this morning as provinces across the country prepare to start re-opening on Monday.

The government is spending $240 million to boost access to online health services, including mental-health support and virtual access to doctors for primary care.

Ottawa is also providing $175 million to AbCellera Biologics Inc., which Trudeau says has shown promising signs of progress in identifying antibodies that could be used create a treatment for COVID-19.

In March, Ottawa announced that AbCellera was among several companies that will share $192 million under the federal government's new Strategic Innovation Fund's COVID-19 stream.

Vancouver biotech firm looking for a COVID-19 cure

2 years ago
Duration 3:04
Vancouver biotech firm AbCellera is looking for a COVID-19 cure. They believe antivirals, like those used to treat HIV, could be the key.

Answers on virus origins

Trudeau also says Canada will work with its allies to get answers around the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 following unsubstantiated reports the virus leaked from a Chinese lab.

But the prime minister insists the immediate focus is on helping Canadians through the pandemic.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said AbCellara is studying antibodies that could be used to create a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. In fact, the company is working on treatment and prevention of the disease.
    May 03, 2020 3:45 PM PT

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