The construction of a 10-year project, starting with vaccine filling and packaging, is scheduled to begin in 2023 and has a designed production capacity of 50 to 60 million doses annually.
The Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (SINOVAC) is set to begin the construction of a vaccine production facility in Bogota, Colombia.
According to the announcement made by Weining Meng, Vice President of Sinovac Biotech (Hong Kong) Ltd., the project will be broken down into three construction sub-projects. The first one, focused on filling and packaging, will be initiated in 2023.
Weining Meng also stated that the plant would be capable of producing up to 60 million doses per year. Currently, the project is at the stage of site selection and the decision will be made by SINOVAC and the government of Colombia jointly, to ensure the plant will be appropriately established in Bogota.
The second sub-project will allow SINOVAC to perform the formulation process locally, while the third sub-project will involve full-cycle production. Currently, there is no vaccine industry in Colombia. “Our plan is to perform the full cycle of production to establish the vaccine industry within 10 years to benefit the people of the country,” said Weining Meng.
“We are very pleased with the investment announcement of Sinovac in Colombia as it will contribute to the country’s pharmaceutical safety, job creation, technology transfer, and good manufacturing practices, among others, and it will be a milestone that will contribute to the positioning of Colombia as an export platform in the vaccine segment”, stated Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, the entity that promotes international tourism, foreign investment and non-traditional exports in Colombia.
“Bogota is recognized as one of the main pharmaceutical cities in Latin America. The Colombian capital concentrates 66% of drug manufacturers, 65% of drug wholesalers, and 49% of jobs in the industry, making it the perfect fit for the development of a production facility such as the one SINOVAC has decided to establish,” stated María Isabella Muñoz, Executive Director of Invest in Bogota, the city’s Investment Promotion Agency.
Colombia has been recognized for its advanced healthcare system, which ranked first in Latin America (according to the data from the World Health Organization).
Though Colombia has the National Vaccination Plan, there is still a stable demand of vaccines in this country and in the Latin-American region, which leads to the urgent need to keep developing the pharmaceutical industry.
“We believe the potential opportunity in this area is huge. During the pandemic of COVID-19, many countries faced a major challenge in vaccine supply. Having a local production plant will allow the region to be able to supply vaccines whenever needed in the future to protect the people here, ” concluded Weining Meng.