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Grifols enters into agreement with Canadian Blood Services to accelerate self-sufficiency in immunoglobulins for Canada

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Grifols, a global leader in plasma medicines with more than 110 years contributing to improve the health and well-being of people, today announced it has signed a pioneering long-term agreement with Canadian Blood Services, Canada's national blood authority, to greatly increase the country's self-sufficiency in immunoglobulin (Ig) medicines, essential plasma-protein therapies used to treat a wide range of immunodeficiencies and other medical conditions.

It's the first-ever agreement of its kind and will ensure Canadian plasma is processed into Ig medicines on Canadian soil for the exclusive needs of the thousands of patients in the country who critically depend on these lifesaving therapies.

Canada has a high Ig usage rate and currently needs to import as much as 85% of its Ig, with demand growing an average of 5-8% annually.

The collaboration agreement with Canadian Blood Services, part of Grifols' long-term global growth strategy, will combine with the work already being done by Canadian Blood Services to accelerate Canada's Ig self-sufficiency rate from 15% to 50% in the shortest time possible.

Under the agreement, Grifols will work with Canadian Blood Services to steadily increase sourcing of the Canadian plasma necessary so that volumes eventually reach 2.4 million grams of Ig medicines annually by 2026.

Over the life of the 15-year renewable contract, Ig pricing will be in line with Western market values and subject to periodic reviews.

Grifols' newly built, state-of-the-art Montreal plant is expected to start operations in 2024 and be fully operational sometime in 2026, when the company will become the only large-scale commercial manufacturer of plasma products in Canada. Until then, production will take place at its site in Clayton, N.C.

Signaling its long-term commitment to the Canadian market, Grifols in 2020 invested over USD 400 million in its Montreal facilities, including a fractionation plant with a capacity of 1.5 million liters annually and two purification plants. Since then Grifols has been expanding and converting the installations. In early 2022, Grifols acquired its first donation center in Canada, in Winnipeg (province of Manitoba).

"Grifols is committed to helping Canada on its self-sufficiency journey to ensure patients in Canada receive the life-sustaining plasma medicines they need," said Víctor Grifols Deu, co-CEO of Grifols. "We will contribute our deep knowledge of the Canadian market and our decades of industry-leading experience collecting plasma and producing medicines that adhere to the highest standards of quality and safety."

Added Raimon Grifols, co-CEO of Grifols: "One key lesson from the pandemic is the need to establish the strongest possible domestic healthcare infrastructures that can reliably and sustainably provide critical plasma medicines to patients."

"With Grifols, Canada has an agreement to develop a critically needed end-to-end national supply chain for immunoglobulins," stated Dr. Graham D. Sher, CEO Canadian Blood Services. "This will improve sufficiency, protect our national blood system and ensure a domestic supply of immunoglobulins that patients in Canada can count on."

The alliance between Grifols and Canadian Blood Services builds on their longstanding relationship as well as the more than three decades Grifols has provided plasma medicines to Canadian patients. In addition to the new agreement, Grifols will continue providing contract manufacturing services to Canadian Blood Services.

The agreement with Canadian Blood Services is the most recent in a series of initiatives that Grifols has underway to help countries and regions increase self-sufficiency in plasma medicines. Increasingly Grifols' leadership is showing that alliances between the plasma industry and the public sector are crucial to ensuring domestic plasma security. The company's vast expertise comes from its leading global network of more than 400 plasma donation centers and the most advanced plasma manufacturing facilities, all operations renowned for their quality, safety and excellence.

Canadian Blood Services operates with a national scope, infrastructure and governance that make it unique within Canadian healthcare. In the domain of blood, plasma and stem cells, it provides services for patients on behalf of all provincial and territorial governments except Quebec.

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