HM the King preside at the official opening of the Covid-19 and other vaccines manufacturing plant in Benslimane

Benslimane – His Majesty King Mohammed VI headed over the launching ceremony of the works for the realization of a manufacturing plant for Covid-19 and other vaccines in the province of Benslimane (Casablanca-Settat Region), a structuring project that, in the long run, will contribute to ensuring the Kingdom’s and the African Continent’s vaccine sovereignty.

This industrial unit is in line with His Majesty the King’s vision for the Kingdom to become a key biotechnology hub in Africa and the world, capable of meeting the continent’s health needs in the short and long term by integrating pharmaceutical research, clinical development, manufacturing, and marketing of high-demand biopharmaceutical products. It is expected to attract a total investment of between 400 and 500 million euros.

The Benslimane project entails the construction of a plant for the production and syringing of vaccines (anti-Covid and other vaccines), with three industrial lines capable of producing 116 million units by 2024. Pre-filled syringes, liquid vials, and lyophilized vials will all be produced on these lines. The estimated expenditure is around €200 million, with the trial batches slated to begin production on July 30, 2022.

The project, which is the result of a public-private partnership that includes support from one of the world leaders in biotechnology and the “Fill & Finish” industry, the Swedish company Recipharm, will ensure the Kingdom’s vaccine self-sufficiency and position it as a leading biotechnology platform on the African continent and globally in the “fill & finish” industry.

The industrial unit, entitled “SENSYO Pharmatech,” will eventually become one of the first five in the world, with the largest platform for filling and finishing vaccines in Africa. In the medium term (2022-2025), this large-scale project aims to transfer the aseptic filling and active substance manufacturing of more than 20 vaccines and bio-therapeutic products, including three anti-Covid-19 vaccines, to Morocco in less than three years, covering more than 70% of the Kingdom’s and 60% of the Continent’s needs.

Advanced biotechnology platforms, including clinical research, development and production of cell and gene therapies, stem cells, and advanced in vitro diagnostic technologies, will be transferred to Morocco under this framework.

The project aims to establish a globally recognized African Pole of biopharmaceutical and vaccine innovation in Morocco in the long term (2023-2030), through a partnership between major international players in the fields of research and development of advanced technologies in vaccines and bio-therapeutic products and all Moroccan supervisory institutions, including the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Kingdom will be positioned as the continent’s locomotive in research, development, and production of innovative biopharmaceutical products in the next five years, thanks to a significant and ongoing transfer of know-how.

It should be mentioned that, as a result of the mobilization of aseptic filling lines accessible locally in Morocco, as well as the transfer of the filling of vials in a clean room of Sinopharm’s vaccine against Covid-19 to Morocco, the Kingdom now produces more than 3 million doses per month locally. Starting in February 2022, production capacity will expand to over 5 million doses per month, increasing to more than 20 million doses per month by the end of 2022. Morocco will be able to generate more than 2 billion vaccine doses by 2025.

HM the King presided over the signing of the investment agreement for the establishment of an anti-Covid-19 and other vaccine manufacturing unit in Benslimane.

Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Minister of Economy and Finance, Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment and Water, Khalid Ait Taleb, Minister of Health and Social Protection, Younes Sekkouri, Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills, and Mohcine Jazouli, Minister Delegate for Investment, Convergence, and the Evaluation of Public Policies, all signed the document.

Othman Benjelloun, president of Sensyo Pharmatech, Said Ahmidouch, Wali of the Casablanca-Settat region, Samir Lyazidi, Governor of the province of Benslimane, Aoufiq Moucharraf, Secretary General of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Abdellah Kabiri, Director of the industry pole at the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water also signed the document.

Morocco, under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, has taken another step toward competent and proactive management of the pandemic issue and its implications with the inauguration of this project.

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