Sura to Manufacture Covid-19 Vaccines by 2023
Medellin-based multinational health-care and insurance giant Grupo Sura announced June 29 that it’s investing US$54 million in biotech researcher VaxThera in a project aiming to produce Covid-19 vaccines in Colombia by 2023.
“VaxThera advances the development of vaccines such as Coronavirus, dengue, Chikungunya, yellow fever, influenza and Zika,” according to Sura.
A new, 35,000 square meters manufacturing plant here — capable of producing 100 million annual doses — “will have the highest technological standards and human talent, where it will generate around 500 jobs at all levels of specialty,” according to Seguros Sura Colombia.
“In addition, the company will be able to implement processes such as fill-and-finish — the process of filling and packaging vials with biologicals,” according to Sura.
The new project will be led by University of Wisconsin professor Jorge Emilio Osorio Benítez, who has more than 30 years of experience in the research and development of vaccines, according to Sura.
“VaxThera will allow the importation and commercialization of vaccines and other types of biologicals for Colombia and Latin America, as well as transferring the necessary technology to Colombia to produce and develop these types of products,” according to Sura.
Currently, VaxThera “is developing a universal vaccine against Coronavirus, which is in the pre-clinical testing phase in Wisconsin, and is expected to be ready by 2023. This will serve as a booster vaccine, which will facilitate procurement and distribution processes.”
In the meantime, “progress will be made in importing various types of vaccines necessary in the [Latin American] region — together with strategic allies — both for Coronavirus and for other types of tropical diseases,” according to the company.
“For VaxThera it is important to build a path that turns Colombia into a country capable of developing, managing and positioning vaccines from early stages to their final development, so as not to be dependent on imports,” added Osorio.