Philip Morris International and Medicago’s COVID-19 Vaccine

March 17, 2022

Medicago is a Canadian biotechnology company, 25% owned by Philip Morris International (PMI). In October 2020, the Canadian government invested millions in Medicago for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. As of March 2022, Medicago’s tobacco plant-derived vaccine has received marketing approval from Health Canada and clinical trials are continuing in several other countries.

PMI has praised the “public private partnership,” between Medicago and the Canadian government, raising concerns that PMI may leverage Medicago for corporate marketing, to gain access to policymakers and to complicate WHO FCTC implementation.

In a regular press briefing on March 16, 2022, World Health Organization confirmed that it was not progressing an Emergency Use Listing application from Medicago because of its links to PMI. This means that Medicago’s vaccine is not eligible for inclusion in the COVAX vaccine supply scheme.

Learn more, plus how governments can counter the industry’s tactics to get close to policymakers.

PMI owns 25% of vaccine producer Medicago