PAHO selects centers in Argentina, Brazil to develop COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

2021-09-21 23:35:48 GMT2021-09-22 07:35:48(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BUENOS AIRES, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on Tuesday announced the selection of two regional centers in Latin America to develop and produce mRNA vaccines (messenger RNA).

Located in Argentina and Brazil, these centers will develop vaccines to tackle the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and future infectious disease challenges, the organization said in a statement.

In Argentina, PAHO chose private sector biopharmaceutical company Sinergium Biotech, which will partner with biotechnology company mAbxience (belonging to the same group) to develop and manufacture the active ingredients of the vaccine.

"Both companies have extensive experience in the production and development of vaccines and other biotechnological medical products," PAHO said.

In Brazil, the Institute of Immunobiological Technology at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation was selected.

"It has a long history of manufacturing vaccines and has made promising advances in the development of an innovative mRNA vaccine against COVID-19," PAHO said.

The announcement was made by Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), and Jarbas Barbosa, PAHO's assistant director, during a side event as part of the 59th meeting of the PAHO Directing Council.

The event, called "Technology transfer for mRNA vaccine production in the Americas," gathered health ministers and authorities from regional countries to address vaccine production.

Barbosa affirmed that "there is hard work ahead, but we are moved by the conviction that this effort will translate into timely and equitable access to vaccines in our region, which continues to be the most affected by this pandemic." Enditem