The Zendal Group has put its human health plant into operation for the manufacture of viral and bacterial vaccines.
A milestone for the biopharmaceutical group based in O Porriño, which is also a milestone for biotechnology in the Euroregion, as it is the first and only human health vaccine manufacturing plant in Portugal.
These facilities, which sit on a plot of more than 50,000 sqm in the Paredes de Coura industrial estate, were inaugurated in an event that was attended by the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa.
Spain-based Albian Group was selected to support the construction of the facility. Albian Group specialises in contamination-controlled environments, providing turnkey cleanroom projects for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and related sectors.
The 4,100 sqm plant houses technical areas, a production area, a warehouse and offices, and initially employs around thirty professionals, some of whom have been previously trained at the Zendal de O Porriño plant.
It was created with the aim of manufacturing human health vaccines on a large scale and will have a production capacity of 84 million annually. With an investment of 25 million euros, it is equipped with the latest technologies to be able to develop the entire process of a vaccine : antigen production, packaging and lyophilisation.
With this plant, Portugal is part of a small group of countries with vaccine production capacity
- Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa
The forecast is that it will serve as an attraction to expand the biotechnological ecosystem of the Euroregion . For this reason, collaboration agreements have been established for training tasks with EPRAMI and the Viana Polytechnic and it is planned to also develop synergies with Portuguese technology centers and universities, just as Zendal does in Spain.
Trends in the sector
The increasing trend in viral and bacterial diseases and the necessary reduction in the use of antibiotics require permanent updates from the pharmaceutical sector. In this context, the Zendal group understands that we are facing a few years in which biotechnology will play an essential role with the incorporation of more preventive products such as vaccines, probiotics or nutritional products.
CEO of Zendal, Andrés Fernández, said: “The launch of this facility will play an important role for the entire Peninsula and for Southern Europe. We are talking about a vaccine plant that will allow us to have autonomy and the capacity to respond to possible future emergency situations, but above all it will work on prevention."
"With this step, we are also advancing in our internationalisation strategy, marked until now by the sale of our products in more than 60 countries, and which is now consolidated with the first installation outside of Spain," explained Fernández.
For his part, the Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, declared during the visit “With this plant, Portugal is part of a small group of countries with vaccine production capacity. This Portuguese-Galician investment also allows the creation of a new biotechnological pole between Galicia and the north of Portugal, demonstrating that the Miño River is not a border. It is also a fundamental investment to gain muscle and scale to compete in an increasingly global and demanding world.”
Vitor Pereira, Mayor of Paredes de Coura, stated that this door to a new future has been possible thanks to the cooperation and trust that has been developed with the Zendal company. “We want to create a biotechnology centre that is capable of creating knowledge, innovation and value for the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula.”
The Paredes de Coura plant is added to the acquisition projects of new subsidiaries ( Maymó and Ovejero ) in Spain carried out by the Zendal group. Some additions that came after the expansions carried out since 2020 at its O Porriño facilities, integrating a new human health plant intended for viral vaccines and obtaining recombinant proteins on a large scale, and innovating other modules with the aim of being prepared to face new healthcare challenges and move towards a greater portfolio of products and services, aimed at a broader market. And it is in this context that this new production plant is framed.
In parallel, since 2020, Zendal has expanded its O Porriño facilities by building another human health plant for viral vaccines and for obtaining recombinant proteins on a large scale.