BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s Sinergium Biotech, which specializes in the research, development, production and marketing of vaccines and biotechnology products, will soon begin building a $50 million plant in Buenos Aires province for primary antigen production.
The plant is due to be completed in 2019 and will create more than 100 new jobs, Buenos Aires-based parent company Grupo Insud, which has major investments in more than 40 countries, told EFE on Saturday.
The new plant will enable Sinergium to fully develop a flu vaccine, as well as other vaccines for different illnesses, using the same technology it will employ for the development of a Zika vaccine to combat the recent outbreak of that mosquito-borne virus in Latin America, according to the company’s business development director, Fernando Lobos.
Sinergium announced last month that it was carrying out an upgrade to move from cell culture technology to so-called recombinant technology, saying the latter was more efficient and would allow the company to respond more quickly to pandemics of influenza or endemic diseases such as Zika, Chikungunya and Rotavirus.
The company recently signed a partnership agreement with Protein Sciences Corporation and Mundo Sano, a private foundation closely linked to Grupo Insud, for the joint development of a Zika virus vaccine.
Sinergium currently produces flu vaccines and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine locally thanks to technology-transfer alliances with Swiss company Novartis and American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, respectively.
It also produces the tetravalent vaccine thanks to a strategic alliance with Merck, Sharp & Dohme, the Argentine subsidiary of the American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co.
Sinergium’s chief executive officer, Alejandro Gil, said it was a source of pride to continue growing and be able to begin construction of a plant with these characteristics in Argentina, adding that very few countries have that type of technology installed.