Newsletter Edition 15 - June 2020


Fiocruz fights pandemic with vaccine, tests and even a hospital

The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation – Fiocruz is investing heavily in increasing its industrial vaccine production capacity, expanding its current capacity of 20 million vaccine vials per year by 6 times, which will provide Brazil with a new dimension in the vaccines field, has informed Mario Santos Moreira, the vice president of Management and Institutional Development of Fiocruz, during the webinar “The main Fiocruz initiatives to face Covid-19”, held on June 12th.

The event was promoted by ABPI and was organized by the Patents Study Committee, integrated by Ana Cristina Müller, Ana Cláudia Mamede Carneiro, and José Eduardo Filgueiras.

Brazil will not be left out of the effort to produce a vaccine against the new coronavirus, either as a developer of a possible vaccine or incorporator of a technology developed abroad, but mainly as a producer as soon as it is developed and recognized as an immunizer. Moreira explains that, while being developed by a third party, Fiocruz would be able to produce the vaccine through a technology transfer agreement. “We will have to choose two or three vaccines, the most promising”, he said. “We are already signing confidentiality agreements with companies and universities to ensure that clinical studies are developed in Brazil with our monitoring”.

In his presentation, which was mediated by the co-coordinator of ABPI’s Patents Study Committee, Ana Cristina Müller, the Fiocruz executive explained that, through partnerships with private companies, the institution reached the mark of 4.9 million diagnostic tests produced in the last few weeks. With the contribution of partner companies, two new test processing units are being created, one in the city of Rio de Janeiro and another in the municipality of Eusébio, in Ceará. In a meeting at the Ministry of Health, Fiocruz shall discuss its participation in the sample collection system, which is one of the main indicators to assess the expansion of the pandemic in Brazil. “We removed the knot from the system, which was its testing capacity”, says Moreira. With more than 1 million infected and more than 50 thousand deaths, however, Brazil has not used even one-fifth of its available tests.

Fiocruz’s actions to fight against the pandemic do not stop there. The institution recently opened a hospital unit for serious patients infected with the disease. Located in Manguinhos, headquarters of the Foundation, in Rio de Janeiro, the Hospital Center for the Covid-19 Pandemic – National Institute of Infectious Diseases Evandro Chagas (INI/Fiocruz), has capacity for 90 patients, who are transferred by the central regulation of vacancies, coordinated by the Municipal and State Secretariat for Health.

You can review this complete webinar on ABPI’ YouTube Channel.