INFOGRAPHICS – The production on French soil of a first vaccine will start in March in Indre-et-Loire. For the moment, seven factories are expected to produce vaccines in France.
Production on French soil of a first vaccine against Covid-19 will start in March. The Minister of Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, confirmed this this morning on RTL. This will be Moderna’s vaccine, which will be bottled by the Swedish subcontractor Recipharm in its factory in Indre-et-Loire in Monts, south of Tours.
In total, at least four factories will produce vaccines against Covid-19 over the coming months in France. It was a condition set by Agnès Pannier-Runacher during the negotiation
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The Monts (Indre-et-Loire) factory of Recipharm will manufacture Moderna’s vaccine. This will be “the first production site to start in March,” Agnès Pannier-Runacher said on RTL on Wednesday morning. This Swedish company, which is one of the world’s five largest pharmaceutical subcontractors, joins Moderna’s other subcontractors, the Swiss giant Lonza, the American Catalent and the Spanish Rovi. “We urgently made ourselves available to Moderna to fulfill this mission, Jean-François Hilaire, executive vice-president of Recipharm, explained to Le Figaro in the fall. Our factory, which manufactures anesthetics, will now operate 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. “ About sixty people have been recruited at its Indre-et-Loire site for this contract. Two million euros were spent on the purchase of super freezers and containers.
The Saint-Rémy-sur-Avre (Eure-et-Loir) factory of Delpharm will produce the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine starting in April. The company, which will recruit 40 to 60 people at its Normandy site, has undertaken to produce “Several tens of millions of doses”. “Our client will send us the vaccine, we will be responsible for filling it in sterile vials, explains Stéphane Lepeu, boss of Delpharm which has 12 factories in France. The vaccine will reach – 70 ° C and we will have to send it back to this temperature, this will be the main constraint. ” Like most of its competitors, Delpharm, one of the world leaders in pharmaceutical subcontracting, had to buy millions of sterile vials and caps, products that were already threatening to run out in the fall as global demand was so high. . Because Pfizer-BioNTech’s messenger RNA vaccine had to be stored at very low temperatures (like Moderna’s), he also had to order huge volumes of dry ice and super-freezers.
The Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) and Val-de-Reuil (Eure) factories of Fareva will be mobilized for the production of the future vaccine of the German Curevac. The start-up could start “in May“, According to Agnès Pannier-Runacher, who recalled that this vaccine has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency, it was still at”conditional“. The Luxembourg manufacturer Fareva, European leader in the subcontracting of sterile drugs, announced in early December 2020 that it would fill and package vaccine vials at its two sites. The objective is to manufacture “million doses of CureVac vaccine candidate“, Warn the two companies.
The Val-de-Reuil site has more than 500 employees and is dedicated to the manufacture of sterile active ingredients and drugs. The Pau site, specializing in medicinal products of biological origin, which has more than 250 employees, has just been sold by the Pierre Fabre group to Fareva.
In addition to these three companies, the network of subcontractors and factories in France could continue to expand in order to accelerate the rate of production of doses. As is the health independence of France. “It is possible that other sites are mobilized, it was one of the objectives of yesterday’s meeting and of the ‘commando’ set up by Agnès Pannier-Runacher to mobilize the ecosystem of French subcontractors», Explains in the entourage of the minister about the meeting which took place at the Elysee Palace in the presence of the owners of laboratories.
In the event of positive results from its phase II trials, Sanofi could also start around this summer the production of its recombinant protein-based vaccine in France, while it will make its site in Mainz (Germany) available for the manufacture of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The first French laboratory, which announced last December a delay of four months on its initial schedule, plans to mobilize its plant of Vitry-sur-Seine, in Val-de-Marne, for the manufacture of the antigen for its future vaccine. Sanofi announced last year that it planned to recruit 100 people in this plant. Its sites Marcy-L’Etoile (formulation, filling, packaging and quality control), near Lyon, and Val-de-Reuil (distribution) should also be requisitioned.
Like the other laboratories, Sanofi will start mass production before the marketing authorization. The French group’s vaccine should not be available until the fourth quarter of 2021.