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The first COVID-19 vaccine production plant is under construction in Moscow

The first COVID-19 vaccine production plant is under construction in Moscow

Since last fall, the construction of the first plant in the capital city that will specialize in the production of an anticoronavirus vaccine called Sputnik V has been in full swing. It is located on the site of the large technopolis "Moscow", which is located in Pechatniki.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin noted that the main production buildings of the plant were erected in record time, literally in one month. In December last year, they were already handed over for equipment installation and finishing works. Workers are on site around the clock, working in multiple shifts. As of December 11, 2020 in the implementation of the construction project has already been laid about 70 kilometers of communications: gas pipelines, electrical wiring, water pipes. A combined-cycle boiler house has also been erected on the territory of the future plant.

The construction of the enterprise specializing in the production of vaccines against coronavirus is a collaboration of the Moscow government and R-Pharm group of companies, one of the largest players of the pharmaceutical market in our country. According to preliminary calculations, the total amount of cash investments in the plant will be about 10 billion rubles. Sergey Sobyanin also said that the new plant will be one of the largest in Russia, and it is planned to start-up in the beginning of this year.

One of the best locations in the capital, which is a part of the special economic zone, was chosen to locate the production facilities of the future anticoronavirus plant. It is located at: Moscow, Volgogradsky Prospect, 42, Bldg. 5. In just a few weeks the local municipal services have provided the production building with electricity and other necessary utilities. R-Pharm is buying technological equipment.

It should be noted that a small industrial site specializing in the production of anti-vaccine vaccine already operates in our country. It was created in Zelenograd simultaneously with the Gamaleya National Research Center. Gamaleya National Research Center and the Biopharm production company. The latter company produces the vaccine, but in very modest volumes. The new enterprise in Pechatniki will be much bigger and more powerful. The plant area will cover 27 square kilometers; 70% of them will be "clean" premises. It will provide jobs for 500 specialists.

According to preliminary calculations, on condition of full capacity utilization, the enterprise will produce about 10 mln. doses of anticoronavirus vaccine per month. The technological process is planned to be carried out in 4 stages:

  • The first stage will involve the cultivation of viral particles for subsequent experiments with them.
  • The second stage will involve filtration and isolation (chromatography) of the vaccine substance.
  • At the third stage, the preparation will be purified, filled into vials, and lyophilically dried.
  • At the final stage, the containers with the finished vaccine will be packaged in boxes for subsequent sale.

Alexey Repik, Chairman of the Board of Directors of R-Pharm, notes that the plant construction project is unprecedented both in terms of construction time and scale. Equipment for the new plant is supplied by the leading technological powers: Germany, France and China. There are plans to buy a total of:

  • 156 wave bioreactors (cumulative capacity of 24,000 liters of culture per month);
  • 11 bioreactors with axial stirring (total capacity - 72 thousand liters of culture per month);
  • robotic packers for packing the finished vaccine.

In addition, according to the project, the enterprise will be equipped with two high-tech filling lines: with and without freezing.

According to the initiators of the plant construction, the production of domestic coronavirus vaccine will enable the citizens of the country to feel safe and respond adequately to the challenge posed by the pandemic in 2020. Andrei Repik noted that vaccination is a direct way to return to a full life without the restrictions that are currently in place.

If everything goes according to plan, the first packs of the new COVID-19 vaccine will hit the market in just the next few weeks. R-Pharm will be the official owner of the plant. As stated above, it is one of the key players in the domestic pharmaceutical market. The company specializes in the production of finished dosage forms and pharmaceutical substances. R-Pharm also conducts its own scientific research, develops drugs for oncology patients, antibacterial and antiviral drugs, drugs used in hematology, cardiology and immunology. In addition, the company's products are used in organ transplants, for diabetics, and for multiple sclerosis.

Moscow Health Department has been actively cooperating with R-Pharm for more than 10 years, since 2008. The company supplies pharmacies and medical institutions in the capital with drugs for the treatment of various pathologies: cardiac, gynecological, endocrine, neuropsychiatric, etc.

In 2020 auctions were held, as a result of which the Moscow health department signed state contracts with "R-Pharm" for the supply of medicines by 50 international nonproprietary names (INN). The total value of the concluded transactions amounted to more than 5 billion rubles. About 60% of these drugs are included in the category of vital necessities. Thanks to this, more than 60 thousand people, including beneficiaries, received the necessary drugs on time.

Two years earlier, in 2018, the capital authorities signed an offset contract with LLC "R-Opra" (a part of "R-Pharm") for the supply of 56 names of drugs (31 of them are included in the INN list). More than half of these drugs are not manufactured by domestic pharmaceutical companies. For at least three types of drugs a full production cycle will be provided, including the production of pharmaceutical substance. The agreement will be valid for 10 years. Of this term, 4 years will be set for the creation of the necessary production facilities. The investor plans to launch 12 medical product lines, investing about 5.8 billion rubles in this project.