Croatian Immunological Institute to Begin Producing Life Saving Antidote

By 15 September 2021

September the 15th, 2021 - The Croatian Immunological Institute, which has been the topic of a lot of conversation for years, is set to resume production of one particular antidote which has saved countless lives over the decades.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, intensive preparations are already underway to resume production of this particular antidote, which has been saving lives across Europe for decades and which has not been allowed to be produced for the past eight years, in the reconstructed part of the existing premises of the Croatian Immunological Institute.

The production of antidote for snake bites will start again next year on the farm of the Immunological Institute in Brezje in Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb, Vecernji list has learned from the Ministry of Health. All rights to produce the antidote were lost back in 2013, which is why it hasn't been being made for such a long time.

The stocks of antidotes that the Republuc of Croatia had for its needs by the end of 2017 were re-valorised, so their shelf life was extended and lasted until the end of last year. At the same time, due to climate change, more potentially dangerous venomous snakes have appeared where they didn't exist before.

In order to prevent anyone from suffering a potentially tragic outcome following a snake bite during the tourist season, this year Croatia procured an antidote from a foreign supplier at an intervention price of 22,000 kuna for one dose. Next year we shouldn't do that because the Brezje farm raises animals and we have experts who know what to do and want to do the job.

"We have six horses, about thirty horned vipers, about a thousand mice, between 60 and 70 guinea pigs and 20 sheep. As for the procedure itself, the antidote can be produced in three weeks, but many steps need to be taken beforehand in order to obtain the proper permits from all institutions, both regulatory agencies and professional bodies and those based on detailed regulations on laboratory animals. We lagged behind in previous years in terms of staff and equipment, but now all mechanisms have been launched, and when the final production starts next year, there'll be no stopping us,'' said Hrvoje Sindler, head of the Department for antiserum production and breeding of experiment animals at the Croatian Immunological Institute.

Health Minister Vili Beros emphasised that the Croatian Immunological Institute is one of the leading strategic interests of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and that, in addition to starting the production of antidotes against venomous snake bites, much more is planned for next year as they'll also be building a brand new factory.

“With the revitalisation of the Croatian Immunological Institute, we'll be able to position ourselves as producers of much-needed vaccines for which there's a need outside the borders of the Republic of Croatia. The plan is to build a new factory on the location of Brezje, on land owned by the Croatian Immunological Institute. The plan is to produce viral vaccines from parent strains owned by Croatia, which are stored within the Institute.

The possibility of producing drugs from human plasma is also being considered. At the same time, the sources of financing are being examined, one of them being EU funds, ie finding a strategic partner for placing these finished products on the global market,'' stated Minister Beros, as reported by Vecernji list.

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