The official headquarters in Lugano, but the plant, the one from which millions of vials with Sputnik V will come out, in the heart of Brianza, in Caponago, just east of Monza. A large modern L-shaped factory, almost overlooking the A4 motorway. For some time at the forefront in the production of medical and pharmaceutical products of the highest level. We asked President Antonio Di Naro if it was possible to visit the interior, the laboratories where in a few months the containers full of vaccine will be prepared. Unfortunately there is no mention of it. The environments are sterile and highly controlled, he replied without concealing his satisfaction with the agreement reached with the Russian State Fund.
Adienne, from the initials of its president and founder, a biopharmaceutical group integrated specialized in the research and production of high-tech biological products, largely in the field of the fight against cancer and leukemia. In addition to real medicines, she works on patented and unique devices in the world that are able to guarantee the safety of health workers during the reconstitution of toxic freeze-dried drugs. It produces the Phelinum which is used for myelomas, lymphomas and carcinomas and the Tepadina, which is used in transplants in patients with haematological diseases. Of course also starting to fine-tune the doses of Sputnik is not something that can be done overnight, as Di Naro pointed out to the Courier service. Medicines are not candy, he said in an ironic tone to make a layman understand the situation.
L‘agreement with the Russian Fund was also reached with the work of the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce chaired by Vincenzo Trani, a profound connoisseur of Russian things. It is a non-profit association that has been in contact with the Fund since September last year. It is possible that other Italian companies will be involved in the near future. According to what Trani said, the agreement was also facilitated by the work of our diplomatic representation led by Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano.
The Russians have so far been very jealous of their product, but it is clear that to start work in the Caponago plant, the Italian technicians will need all the necessary information. Producing Sputnik in Brianza does not automatically mean being able to sell the drug in our country. These are two completely separate things, as Di Maro explained. For marketing, Italy will wait for the go-ahead from the EMA which will then be received by the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa). This is a process that for now promises to be quite long, given that relations between EMA and the Russian Fund do not seem idyllic. The European body based in Amsterdam (Milan was a candidate when the office was moved from London but was beaten by the Dutch city), has started a preliminary check, but then its inspectors will have to go to Russia to check production standards. And this, according to some rumors, will only happen in early April.
For Adienne to start working in Lombardy, instead, only an AIFA authorization will be needed which will only concern this phase. Basically, if the EMA does not then give the clearance for Europe, the Sputnik will be able to depart from Caponago only for non-European countries.
March 9, 2021 (change March 9, 2021 | 23:18)