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What is the plan that Hugo Sigman is also promoting to produce the Sinopharm vaccine in Argentina


It is for the Chinese vaccine against Covid to be produced at the Sinergium plant. It would join the manufacture of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which the entrepreneur carries out at mAbxience.

Irene Hartmann

04/29/2021 17:04

  • Clarí

  • Society

Updated 04/29/2021 17:04

If everything goes as expected by the businessman Hugo Sigman, the national manufacture of a third line of vaccines against the coronavirus will soon be confirmed: the Chinese-origin


, for the



, at the



, the largest of its type in the country, which has the owner of the Insud group as the majority shareholder. The negotiation, could find out this medium, is "green" but starting.

If the business closes, the development will join the

other two of its kind

that are underway in Argentina: the newest is the local version of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, which will be packaged from June in the Richmond laboratory, owned of the accountant and businessman Marcelo Figueiras.

And that a year later it would have full production in Argentina.

The oldest belongs precisely to Sigman and these days it is not without a lot of media noise.

It is about the national development of the active principle of the



, at the



, located in Garín (Escobar), belonging to the Insud group.

The businessman Hugo Sigman, owner of the Insud group.

While the "Argentine leg" of this project (announced in August 2020) seems to have been working

without much setback

, there are drawbacks of supplies for the planned packaging in Mexico, so some of the doses are having to be sent to the United States. .

The truth is that none of the promised vaccines has yet arrived in Argentina.

In any case, what transpired (from an advance, this Thursday, by journalist Jairo Straccia, on

Radio Con Vos

) is that Sigman's ambition when it comes to expanding its portfolio of pharmacological products against Covid exceeds, as is Obviously, to AstraZeneca.

In this case, the businessman set his eye on a

different platform

: while the English vaccine is based on a non-replicative viral vector, Sinopharm uses a very classic immunization format: the

inactivated virus


As reported by a qualified source who asked to remain anonymous, the state of the negotiation is for now "initiation", but somewhere,


, and for various reasons.

A box with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus, based on inactivated virus.


The first and fundamental is that

China is explicitly interested

in producing doses of Sinopharm outside its borders.

The second, equally relevant, is that, although it cannot be ruled out that other companies have shown interest in making this drug their own (and, in this sense, Sinergium would not have “privileges”, using the words of the source consulted),

Sigman and Sinergium

have a particular "thumbs up" in China's eyes



Although all negotiations with the Asian giant have their intricacies ("they

are very hierarchical

and only speak with the owner; never with a middle manager," defined the person consulted), it is estimated that China will want to close an agreement of this type.

On the one hand, because with Sigman comes the

ELEA-Phoenix laboratory

, of which he is a shareholder along with his wife, Silvia Gold, and Lilia Neumann de Sielecki, heir to Manuel Sielecki, precisely the founder of Phoenix laboratories.

ELEA was the laboratory that

coordinated the phase 3 clinical trial of the Sinopharm vaccine in Argentina in 2020

, along with two other local legs: Fundación Vacunar and Fundación Huissa, embodied, respectively, by two government advisers in the pandemic;

Pablo Bonvehí, head of Infectious Diseases at Cemic, and Pedro Cahn.

From this double-blind trial with 3,000 volunteers, Sinopharm sees ELEA-Argentina as a

“known” interlocutor


In the same sense -but vice versa-, ELEA has long put tokens in this Asian development, of which the arrival of

4 million doses will

be completed this Thursday

, according to the Government's agreement with China (not renewed for now).

The Sinergium plant currently produces vaccines against pneumococcus, HPV and influenza.

ELEA's confidence in this vaccine goes beyond the fact that its effectiveness is not among the best, with


after the two doses of the scheme, according to company data, since scientific publications of phase 3.

For something on February 2, ELEA-Phoenix entered the ANMAT presentation to register the Sinopharm vaccine in the country.

With a particularity.

The procedure before ANMAT was different

from what other competing pharmaceutical companies have been doing: ELEA did not enter an authorization request for "emergency use" but instead used the

conventional route

("pre-pandemic", if you will), which takes longer , but at the same time it represents a "greater commitment" of the company with the drug, evaluated a source in the sector.


At first it emerged that the issue of "money" was not even mentioned yet at the Sigman-China dialogue table.

Basic questions prevail, such as whether Sinergium would produce the active ingredient and the doses

would be packaged elsewhere

(as mAbxience does with AstraZeneca) or whether, instead, the complete vaccine would come out of the local “oven”.

Nor is it known what the purpose of the doses would be: if they would be sold to the State, the private sector, or both.

The truth,

Clarín was

able to find out

, is that the Argentine ambassador to China,

Sabino Vaca Narvaja

, took an active role in this negotiation.

Finally, other aspects can be added for which China would like to "buckle" an agreement with Sigman.

On the one hand, since Sinergium is the largest vaccine factory in the country, it complies with a series of security protocols, both in terms of procedures and infrastructure, which would avoid unnecessary delays (of up to one year, in such cases), in matter of approvals and diverse homologations from the Asian country.

The exterior of the Sinergium plant, located in Garín, Escobar district.

In addition, Sinergium has a good reputation for its

links with some of the most important multinationals in the powerful pharmaceutical world


The plant, located in Garín, near two other plants in the "Sigman" arc (Biogenesis-Bagó, which develops vaccines for animals, and the aforementioned mAbxience), was founded after the 2009 influenza A N1H1 epidemic. The intention was (perhaps like now) stop depending on international supplies and have a local portfolio of influenza vaccines.

A decade later, Sinergium produces between 20 and

25 million annual doses of the Novartis influenza vaccine

, which is purchased by the Argentine government for the annual influenza campaign.

"Precisely, if you can think of developing the Sinopharm vaccine here, it is because the flu games for this season have already been produced," confirmed the source.

In addition, in that plant two other vaccines are made, for two other giants, which in the international eyes adds a reputation.

One is the famous



for Pfizer, against pneumococcus (10 million doses per year) and, for


, 5 to 6 million doses of the vaccine against HPV, the human papillomavirus.

Sigman and its partners sell them to the State in pesos, at the price stipulated by the PAHO Revolving Fund.

Without with Sinopharm it would be like this or it would be different, it is not known yet.


Look also

The Covid crisis in India: what will happen here with those who received the Covishield vaccine

Coronavirus: the three keys that the Government analyzes for a possible agreement with Pfizer for vaccines

Source: clarin

All life articles on 2021-05-03

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