Even at the European level there is a rumor that says that, to produce vaccines, it is in the end sufficient to cancel patents. Too bad that the reality of the facts, then, works in a very different way, especially for the more innovative ones, such as mRNAs (Moderna and Pfizer). Chemist Skeptic explains why . From his blog:
"With 500 million, the construction of a plant for the production of mRNA vaccine could have started!"
(the 500 million were "those" 500 million, those of the mAb)
In general, the idea of the public-private pole is excellent. Guarantee against cuts in deliveries of "serums" (sigh)? No way. Not just months, months and months, but when it comes to mRNA vaccines, the bottleneck is always the same: the lipids required by the LNPs (Lipid NanoParticles) of those vaccines.
Few producers, production is not trivial:
“Very few companies in the world supply these particular lipids in significant quantities and with the standards necessary for the production of vaccines. On February 5, one of these companies, Germany's Merck KGaA, announced that it will accelerate the supply of the urgently needed lipids to Biontech to manufacture the vaccine.
Merck said they are working hard on improving manufacturing capabilities… and expects to increase lipid deliveries TOWARD THE END OF 2021 ″ (capital mine, NdCS)
"MRNA vaccine manufacturers use 4 lipids to formulate their LNPs: an ionizable cationic lipid that encapsulates negatively charged mRNA, a PEGylated lipid that helps control particle size and stability, distearoylphosphatidylcholine (DSPC), which helps in the formation of the structure of the particle and cholesterol, which also contributes to the structure.
Cationic lipids are the most important of the four, and the most complex to produce. Matthieu Giraud, global director of the peptides, lipids, and carbohydrates business at CordenPharma, says the synthesis takes about 10 steps…. A complete production campaign is measured in months "
What do you get out of it? That all the talk about suspending patents, we immediately invest in national production to solve the problem etc etc is smoke in the eyes and ideology, fueled by the contribution of incompetence. If those who have the industrial know-how make a beastly effort to increase production, how much time do you think you can solve starting from scratch? Forget it. And putting our hand in the wallet to buy the transfer of technology in any case we would not be faster than them, indeed.
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