The WHO visited a center for the development and production of vaccines with messenger RNA technology in Argentina


The representatives of the organization did so together with directors of the Pan American Health Organization. They met with national authorities and with the team that is carrying out the technology transfer process for said production.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in 2021 the creation of a technology transfer center, Afrigen, located in South Africa, which seeks to share technical knowledge to low- and middle-income countries to boost the capacity to produce messenger RNA vaccines.

This initiative led to calls of interest from companies worldwide. América Sinergium Biotech, in Argentina, and the Fiocruz-Biomanghinos Institute, in Brazil, were the only two centers selected within a competitive evaluation with more than 30 bidders, due to their experience in vaccine production and their level of technology and human resources.

In March 2022, the Argentine team was the first to receive training at the specialized center, which delved into the laboratory-scale mRNA manufacturing process, including the formulation of lipid nanoparticles and data analysis, as well as the production and quality control of the finished product. After the visit, work began locally at the Sinergium Biotech plant, managing to replicate the training received in Afrigen.

“The project lays the foundations for the implementation of a regional collaboration that takes advantage of the resources and knowledge of each participant with the ultimate objective of expanding Latin America’s capacity in the production of vaccines with mRNA technology,” said Germán Sánchez Alberti, Manager. of Development and Innovation of Sinergium Biotech. The WHO has developed a vaccine prototype that will enter the clinical testing phase next year.

The visit to the mRNA vaccine development and production center

A mission of delegates from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the WHO and the Medicines Patent Pool met with national health authorities and with the Sinergium Biotech team (Insud’s human vaccine company), which is carrying out the process of technological transfer for the production of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines in the country for regional destination.

During the meeting, the PAHO representative in Argentina, Eva Jané Llopis; the Minister of Health of the Nation, Carla Vizzotti; the senior technical officer at the WHO, Claudia Nannei, the Business Development Director of Sinergium Biotech, Fernando Lobos, and other officials evaluated the progress of the transfer program and analyzed the possibilities that this technology offers for the development of vaccines against the virus SARS-CoV-2 as well as other priority pathogens for the region, and biotherapeutic products.

Read also Messenger RNA vaccines against COVID-19: a journey to the heart of Argentine technology and innovation

“The need for self-sufficiency in the region during the pandemic woke us all up,” said Jané Llopis and added: “It is a challenge and we will continue working from PAHO together with the Ministry of Health of the Nation and all the actors, to face the challenges.” pandemics that may appear, and at the same time go further and investigate the different opportunities that messenger RNA technology allows and offer them to the entire region of the Americas.”

The PAHO representative in Argentina highlighted the country’s leadership in the region in health matters and its ability to face this new challenge and celebrated the Argentine laboratory’s goal of “becoming a pioneer in the production of mRNA vaccines” among the 15 chosen centers. in different places around the world.

The opinion of those who were at the meeting

The minister referred to the importance of working together and with a strategic perspective and expressed the need to “develop sustainable public policies aimed at promoting the development of vaccines and other biotechnological products, expanding our production capacities for these strategic inputs and contributing to regional health self-sufficiency”.

For his part, Lobos mentioned the value of the collaboration that exists between the different national and international actors, and “of PAHO, which was on par from the beginning of the project to have the potential to move forward firmly and faster.” The director of the laboratory also referred to the importance of choosing priority diseases for the region and Argentina in order to demonstrate the operation of the platform, and achieve a strong impact on the health of the entire region of the Americas.

Currently, the Sinergium Biotech laboratory continues to forge a strategic relationship with PAHO to supply essential vaccines for the region, participating in flu vaccine tenders and supplying them for 3 years, making this project one more step towards integration. regional vaccine production center for the americas.

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