Morocco is waiting to receive several modules and equipment for vaccine manufacturing. Following the conclusion of several agreements with China, where these units are created, a ship containing the necessary equipment is currently on its way to the Alawi kingdom. The ship departed from the Chinese city of Shanghai and is expected to land in the North African nation in mid-June.
The equipment will then travel to Benslimane province in the centre of the country. It is worth noting that, although the units are manufactured in China, they actually have their origins in a Japanese company. There, they will be installed in the Lion 1 plant, the first unit of the vaccine production complex that was promoted by King Mohammed VI earlier this year.
These are modules and equipment for the aseptic filling and packaging of vaccines. These will make up the Lion 1 unit, providing this plant with the latest advances in this industry.
The equipment will be assembled by workers from Morimatsu, the Chinese manufacturer, who will travel to the Alawi country and will be in charge of the entire installation. In turn, JESA, a Moroccan company specialising in the design of projects related to industrial progress, has been appointed to build the plant. In addition, it will also have the task of installing the latest IT developments in the plant, as well as controlling the quality of the building's materials and the specific recruitment of the people who will be in charge of carrying it out.
Afterwards, the plant will be checked to see if it is suitable for vaccine manufacturing. If so, the first test batches will be created to prove the new materials received from China. However, there is still some time to go before this becomes a reality and the competent authorities are currently assessing when this will be possible.
The Lion 1 project is bringing great benefits to the Kingdom. With the arrival of the new aseptic filling and packaging materials for vaccines, Morocco aims to create more than 12 million inoculation units. This capacity is equivalent to a production of between 300 and 450 million doses of all types of vaccines for all diseases.
The project is expected to be further developed in the coming months. By July this year, two production lines will be set up, both liquid and freeze-dried. Then, in August, the pre-filled syringe line will be installed, and by October or November the first industrial validation batches will start to be produced. By the end of the year, the aim is to create massive batches of vaccines for subsequent distribution.
Lion 1 is a project led by the Moroccan company Sensyo Pharmatech. This brand is a partnership created thanks to the support of the Mohammed VI Fund, Recipharm and the Bank of Africa, the Central Bank of the People and the Attijariwafa Bank. Its main objective is to make Morocco and Africa independent of vaccine imports by creating inoculation production centres to strengthen the continent in this area. It should be remembered that the resources that reach the African continent are quite scarce, and having such an industry would improve the lives of all citizens, who would no longer be exposed to the same risks. It would also give the Kingdom self-sufficiency in this field of medicine.
The company has chosen Morocco because of the nation's importance to Africa. This is due to its good global relations with other powers, as well as having one of the most stable economies on the continent. For this reason, they are implementing the Lion 1 project within the borders of the Maghreb kingdom. There, they want to install an industrial unit that integrates research in the field of pharmaceuticals, development, manufacturing and marketing of essential medicines. Sensyo Pharmatech aims to cover and guarantee Africa's health needs in the short and long term.