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Farmanguinhos/Fiocruz signs agreement with the University of Coimbra


Mariangela Longinio (Farmanguinhos/Fiocruz)


The Institute of Drug Technology (Farmanguinhos/Fiocruz) has taken an important step towards internationalizing its activities by signing a memorandum of understanding with the University of Coimbra (UC). International cooperation provides for the development of actions in the areas of education, research and technological development in health. Signed by the director of Farmanguinhos, Jorge Mendonça, and by the vice-dean of the Portuguese university, Nuno Mendonça, the document is in line with an ordinance issued by the Presidency of Fiocruz in October, which establishes rules for the Foundation's Innovation Policy, specifically for actions aimed at promoting internationalization and, above all, for technological development, innovation, and the appropriation of technologies and products of interest to the Unified Health System (SUS).

The Portuguese delegation and Farmanguinhos and Fiocruz representatives at the Rare Works Library (photo: Mariangela Longinio)

"Fiocruz is at a unique moment with formal initiatives to internationalize its activities, and a cooperation agreement with a leading European university like Coimbra is part of this strategy. The idea is to jointly develop new medicines, drugs and technologies, as well as offer joint courses and training to improve our postgraduate programs", said Jorge Mendonça.

Vice-dean Nuno Mendonça said that the University of Coimbra wants to create closer ties with ecosystems for the transfer of knowledge and development. "The University of Coimbra sees Fiocruz as an essential partner that can complement its scientific research capacity. We are an international reference institution and we want to foster this relationship so our students and researchers can benefit from all the scientific knowledge that comes from this partnership", he said.

For Fiocruz's vice President for Production and Innovation in Health, Marco Krieger, the visit by the UC delegation and the companies that are part of its ecosystem materializes some initiatives for prospecting partnerships. "We are seeing opportunities for technology transfer projects and even the integration of our production capacities. We have complementary assets that are made in Brazil that can be used by partners to reach other markets, such as Africa and the very European market".

During their visit to the Drug Technology Complex (CTM) at Farmanguinhos on December 12th, the delegation was introduced to projects. Also part of the group was the vice president of the Coimbra City Council (former director of the Faculty of Pharmacy), Francisco Veiga; the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bluepharma Group and its vice president, respectively, Paulo Barradas and Sérgio Simões; the director of the Institute of Nuclear Sciences Applied to Health (ICNAS), Antero Abrunhosa, and Tânia Covas, advisor to the dean Amílcar Falcão.

The following day (12/13), the president of Fiocruz, Mário Moreira, welcomed the delegation from Portugal at the Mourisco Castle, highlighting the work carried out by the Foundation and mentioning that, in the international context, Brazil is seeking to reaffirm itself as a market player in the field of health. "This move by Farmanguinhos to strengthen relations with Portugal is very important", he emphasized. Opening the working meeting, the dean of the University of Coimbra, Amílcar Falcão, via videoconference, emphasized that the partnership with Fiocruz and Farmanguinhos is welcome news, further stating that the University is committed to doing excellent work together.

On the occasion, Fiocruz vice presidents Cristiani Machado (Education, Information and Communication), Hermano Castro (Environment, Healthcare and Health Promotion) and Maria de Lourdes Oliveira (Research and Biological Collections); and the International Cooperation advisor at the Center for International Relations in Health, Ilia Vilardo, discussed the initiatives carried out in their respective areas. As to Farmanguinhos, the deputy director of Education, Research and Innovation, Núbia Boechat, highlighted the projects and research developed, as well as the specialization, master's and doctoral courses. Farmanguinhos coordinators Alessandra Esteves (Technological Development), Mariana de Souza (Education Department) and Tereza Santos (Center for Entrepreneurship and Pharmaceutical Assistance), as well as Daniela Rangel (International Relations) and researcher Mônica Macedo (Drug Synthesis Laboratory/Lasfar), took part in the meeting.

"I was impressed by the Fiocruz ecosystem, the level of technical and human quality, as well as the extremely important national dimension of the institution that is over more than 100 years old and which now projects itself into the future. We want to develop partnerships that respond to the needs of the universal health systems in Portugal and Brazil, with better quality services for people, access to specialty drugs and, in the end, better health for all", emphasized ICNAS director Antero Abrunhosa. Paulo Barradas said that his company is at disposal. "We can contribute to the development of the Brazilian pharmaceutical industry through technology transfer, with new projects and products". The Portuguese group took part in a guided tour through the Mourisco Castle and visited the facilities of the hospital center of the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases (INI/Fiocruz) and the Diagnostic Support Unit (Unadig), where they were welcomed, respectively, by director Valdiléa dos Santos and general coordinator Erika de Carvalho.

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