25 new vaccines to be produced by March

July 16, 2019 - 21:44

TEHRAN- Eight human vaccines and 17 livestock vaccines will be produced by the end of the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 19), announced the secretary of biotech development center (BioDC) at science and technology vice-presidency. 

According to Mostafa Qanei, by the year end, 50 raw pharmaceutical materials and 14 biotech medicines will be also manufactured, ISNA reported on Tuesday. 
The production of all these new pharmaceuticals will save the country $375 million and create 830 new jobs, he added. 
“Among all 18 main vaccines for humans in the world, eight are produced inside the country and the rest are imported but the number of vaccines we produce for the livestock only fulfil a quarter of the country’s requirements; furthermore, all the livestock vaccines are exclusively produced in Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute,” he explained. 
“The vaccine production in the county has not been very successful. Over the years, there were no significant rise in the number of vaccines produced in the country, even though vaccine production was among the oldest biotechnological organs in the country.”

The production of these new pharmaceuticals will save the country $375 million and create 830 new jobs. 
“The problem is in human resource sector as we have not trained enough professionals.”
“There aren’t adequate vaccine production infrastructures in any countries in the Middle East, so if we can grow in this sector, we can fulfill the needs of the region.”

How to increase the production of vaccines? 
“To address the needs for more homegrown vaccines, we are planning to apply the same successful model that was used in medicine production,” said Qanei. 
According to Qanei, the Ministry of Agriculture is one of the organizations intended to enter this sector. The ministry has ordered that manufacturing vaccines must not done outside the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute.
“The body of knowledge is available in government organizations, but the private sector has more agility and motivation, so the knowledge should be transferred to the private sector in the form of knowledge-based companies and startups,” he added. 
“According to a new law, universities’ board of directors can establish knowledge-based companies and this would put the knowledge restored in universities into practice.”

Do we have enough biomedicines in the country?
According to Qanei, there are currently 140 biomedicines in the global market, of which, 21 items are available in Iran. Although, out of all these 140 medicines, only production of 50 of them are economically justified in Iran; that is, some medicines are more necessary in certain areas because of the high prevalence of some diseases or the environmental parameters. 
“Potentially, we also have the technological knowledge of producing 30 kind of biomedicines. However, we don’t have the knowledge base for producing medicines that are mostly used for treatment of chronic and life-threatening diseases such as cancers, rheumatism, inflammatory bowel diseases and some brain disorders,” he added. 
In October 2018, BioDC announced that medicine is on top of the list of exports of biotechnology products in Iran.
In July 2018, the vice president for science and technology Sourena Sattari announced that Iranian startups meet 98 percent of the domestic market’s need to biotechnology medicine.
According to economywatch.com, the benefits of biotechnology in medicine are without doubt staggering. Although many exciting developments have taken place in the past few years, with continuing research, it is expected that more and more revolutionary procedures, substances, and devices will be developed to improve and enhance human life.