Lessons learned in the face of new health challenges
In two decades of the 21st century, we have gone through two pandemics, both caused by a coronavirus, the one caused by SARS in 2003, which spread throughout the world aboard commercial flights, reaching 29 countries and which, fortunately, had limited effects if we compare it with the devastating consequences of the current one. Since then, scientists have warned of the need to prepare for possible new viruses.
Vaccines are complex biological products that are obtained from living organisms through long manufacturing and control processes. More than 70% of the manufacturing time of a vaccine is invested in quality controls. Covid-19 has plausibly revealed the high cost of relocation in some areas. We have seen the difficulties of manufacturing and production, especially in Europe, of essential biotechnological products. The shortage of companies capable of producing vaccines has been a reality in this crisis. The manufacture of vaccines requires high investments, in technology, infrastructure and highly qualified staff. It can only be supported if the facility manufactures on a large scale.
Global biopharma CDMO
CZ Vaccines has a long history in the biotech industry. It is one of the few companies in Europe, and the first in Spain, authorised to produce vaccines with capacity – barely a dozen are. It is qualified to work with extensive scientific experience, which enables them to work with different types of vaccines: genetic engineering live attenuated vaccines, conventional vaccines, subunit vaccines (recombinant protein) or last generation DNA vaccines. CZ Vaccines produces viral vaccines, microbial vaccines and cell therapies in their biopharmaceutical facilities (GMP) prepared for this purpose, where a wide range of biological products are produced for third parties, from the development to commercial products, since it has a large manufacturing infrastructure and production sites, both in Spain and Portugal.
CZ Vaccines has been involved in collaborating actively on the urgent development of solutions against the coronavirus disease COVID-19 through its research and manufacturing capabilities in several projects in the last years.
It must be considered of strategic importance for Europe to have companies, qualified and authorised to manufacture vaccines and biologicals as an axis of autonomy and strength in the face of potential future health crises. Taking advantage of the synergies and lessons learned in this pandemic is key to address future problems.
This article was originally published in European Biotechnology Magazine Winter Edition 2022.