VIENNA – A key ingredient in the first US-approved Covid-19 vaccine comes from a family company with 90 employees in rural Austria, highlighting the fragility of the drug supply chain potential treatment.
Polymun Scientific Immunbiologische Forschung GmbH is one of the few manufacturers of lipid nanoparticles, microscopic circuits used to introduce genetic material into the body.
For many years this was a niche application, used to deliver new forms of cancer treatment. Then came the pandemic coronavirus.
Lipid nanoparticles are required in the production of so-called mRNA vaccines, including vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE from Germany is currently in human trials and is a leader in the global race for Covid-19 injection.
Such vaccines are made of genetic material that needs to be protected by a lipid nanoparticle before it can be injected into a patient. This means that some products outside of the most advanced medical research areas known until recently are in high demand and urgency – just like other parts of the vaccine supply chain. Get and test for viruses, from refrigeration equipment to certain chemicals and medical glasses.