Romania’s National Institute of Research and Development for Microbiology and Immunology Cantacuzino (INCD Cantacuzino) has been leading the country’s microbiology and immunology research activities since 1921. The institute’s R&D specialties include bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases; cell biology and molecular immunology; biotechnology and microbial genetics; and providing training in scientific research. Along with its advanced research activities, INCD Cantacuzino participates in Romania’s public-health programmes and manufactures world-class pharmaceuticals products for the Romanian market.
Eugen-Adrian Ionel, General Manager, has had extensive experience in providing effective management for companies in various sectors. He was brought to INCD Cantacuzino last year to transform the institute into a financially sound, innovative enterprise. He says, “When I came here, people had not received their salaries and the government had not allocated sufficient resources to keep the institute operating effectively. We have managed to get the institute back into financial health, and we have many new products in the works, including a new type of individually-administered vaccine as well as two traditional products, Polidin and Cantastim.”
Innovative “auto-vaccine” tailored to individual patients
INCD Cantacuzino has significantly upgraded its development and production of vaccinology products and has reached 95% total capacity. The institute will produce an innovative new type of vaccine this year through a pilot programme approved by the World Health Organisation. This “auto-vaccine” is tailored to each individual patient, and it has achieved a 92% success rate so far in the initial testing phase. Eugen-Adrian Ionel points out, “Next year we will begin major production of this vaccine for use in Romania. Our medium-term and long-term projects also include launching two new lines in our production facilities in Baneasa and Darvari.”
The institute’s Baneasa facility raises laboratory animals for research institutions throughout Romania, while the Darvari facility includes fields for cultivating barley and rice to be used in INCD Cantacuzino’s 100% natural products. Eugen-Adrian Ionel says, “We are also establishing a laboratory at Darvari to develop blood and plasma derivatives.”
To keep the institute’s current expansion on track, Eugen-Adrian Ionel is seeking EU funding as well as local and international partnerships. He says, “We are targeting partnerships with hospitals, but we will not pursue just one development plan; we are also planning to expand to international markets, possibly within three years.” Urging international partners to look into opportunities for partnerships with INCD Cantacuzino, Eugen-Adrian Ionel concludes confidently, “Trust our common future!”