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Moderna vaccine 'to start production in Spain next month'
18 November 2020 @ 20:40

A VACCINE against Covid-19 developed in Spain will be ready for production to start 'in less than a month', according to laboratory Rovi.

Its deputy chairman and finance manager Javier López Belmonte says the inoculation created for the pharmaceutical giant Moderna – based in the USA – will be at least partially manufactured in Spain, where it was devised, and that its promising results mean this could begin as early as mid-December.

López Belmonte says Rovi has struck a ground-breaking deal with Moderna allowing it to produce the vaccine for 'all the markets outside the USA', which include Europe, Asia, and all of the American continent apart from the United States itself.

The 'bio-technological part' of the vaccination, or the primary material, is developed by the Swiss company Lonza, then sent to the laboratories at Rovi, which turns it into the final pharmaceutical product, including bottling and packaging.

According to current timescales, the Moderna vaccine could be hitting the market by the beginning of 2021.

Before all this starts, the regulatory process needs to be completed and the drug rubber-stamped.

Moderna will arrange for samples of the product to be sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval, and López Belmonte says Rovi expects this authorisation process to be 'very quick'.

“These procedures can take up to a year and a half, but in this case, it'll be done in months,” he explains.

The Moderna vaccine will begin its manufacturing process in the USA first, which means it is likely to be administered across the pond before the end of the year, but once Spain starts with the European, Asian and rest-of-Americas production, the procedure is 'very fast', López Belmonte assures.

“It's basically an injectable solution in an aseptic vial, so the process involves testing to make sure the product is sterile. This part of the manufacturing only takes a few days, and then the process of releasing and checking the sterility of the produce takes 15 to 20 days. In other words, in about a month, give or take, it'll be ready.”

The Rovi production centre is based in San Sebastián de los Reyes, in the Greater Madrid region, but other branches of the company will also be providing manufacturing support work.

All this has required an express revamp of Rovi's premises and facilities, including technology transfer and freeing up additional funds for investment.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine – which looks set to be the first in the 'race' and was developed for the German company by a husband-and-wife team, who are both the children of Turkish migrants in the central European country – the Moderna inoculation does not have to be stored at exceptionally-low temperatures.

One of the drawbacks of the Pfizer drug is that it needs to be frozen at around -80ºC, and not all countries on earth will have the facilities to do so.

López Belmonte says the Moderna vaccine can be kept for up to 30 days at between 2ºC and 8ºC – about the same temperature as a household fridge – and up to 12 hours at room temperature, and for longer-term storage, can be kept for six months at -20ºC, which is more feasible for nations with more basic infrastructure.



Like 1


jimbo7 said:
22 November 2020 @ 01:57

Why do you need a vaccine for a virus that 99.8 percent of people get over it and most don't even know they have had it. You are more likely to die from the annual flu than you are from covid 19. It is all a hoax to enable the wealthy elite to get richer and and control us. Wake up.

Happynara said:
22 November 2020 @ 09:05

To the moronic comment above, no doubt posted by a Brexiteer living in Spain, your numbers are WAY OFF. You do not see hospital ICUs filled with pulmonary-vulnerable patients during a normal flu year do you?

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