ZAGREB, 26 March (Hina) – Jadran Galenski Laboratory (JGL) Board President Ivo Usmiani told Hina on Friday that that pharmaceutical company could begin producing vaccines but only if it obtains a licence from a strategic partner, and a venture like that requires cooperation from the academic community and government support.
Asked by Hina about that possibility, under what conditions and when production of vaccines could be expected, Usmiani said that the basic precondition is know-how and a technological platform for the production in a sterile pharmaceutical format and then it will be necessary to secure the necessary finances.
“The basic precondition to embark on the adventure of producing vaccines is know-how and a technological platform for the production of sterile pharmaceutical form and then to ensure financial sources. At JGL we have the know-how and skills for the production of sterile pharmaceutical form and also a strong technological platform,” said Usmiani.
He said that JGL could start producing vaccines whether they be vector or mRNA vaccines, but only if they obtain a licence from a strategic partner to transfer ready technology for the production of vaccines.
“In Rijeka, we also have a Scientific Centre of Excellence for virus immunology and vaccines with a team of ten or so excellent virologists, virus immunologists and molecular bio-technologists. They are led by Professor Stipan Jonjić and are involved with vector vaccines and we are cooperating with them and could achieve a strong synergy with them. As far as timelines for that are concerned, there are various ways of production and types of cooperation which we are considering and they all require time,” he added.
Usmiani underscored that that is all a “complex scientific enterprise and in addition to support and engagement by the academic community, it requires a very clear stance, focused strategic determination and support from the government.
“Financing an investment like that, for instance, from the Recovery and Resilience Facility could be the key lever in transforming Croatia’s economy and increasing its productivity and competitiveness on a very competitive EU market,” said Usmiani.
“As far as the self-sufficiency of vaccines in the country is concerned, I recall that back in 1893 in the Royal Institute for the Production of Vaccines, production of a vaccine against Variola was launched and proved that a small country can be included in something like that. In accordance with the National Development Strategy until 2030, achieving the production of high added value such as a vaccine, could successful secure self-sufficiency and the country’s independence, strengthen capacities in public health and maintain, or additionally network a high level of the expertise that we possess. However, there are still a lot of steps on the journey to reach that level,” he concluded.