MONTREAL (CP) - Global drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will spend $50 million to expand its vaccine research plant in Laval, Que., just north of Montreal, expanding its workforce by 60 jobs.
''Today's announcement underlines GSK's intention to give Canada and especially Quebec a pivotal role in its world-leading vaccine business,'' GlaxoSmithKline Canada's CEO Paul Lucas said in a release.
The investment will be used to expand and upgrade laboratory facilities and will make the Laval location of GlaxoSmithKline the North American headquarters for the company's innovative vaccine division.
Senior federal and Quebec cabinet ministers, along with Laval's mayor, attended the announcement, but public funds were not expected to be contributed to the expansion.
GlaxoSmithKline is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of vaccines. It is also Canada's largest biopharmaceutical employer with 1,400 employees in Quebec and 3,300 across the country.
The company spends more than $175 million a year in research and development.
It conducts about 50 studies each year in Canada, with the participation of about 2,000 patients, and supplies about 75 percent of the Canadian government's seasonal flu vaccine purchases.