It was announced this late November that Ceva Phylaxia will set up a new vaccine factory along with the associated infrastructure by developing a new site under a greenfield investment in Hungary. As the General Manager of the company, Dr. Zsolt Németh tells Diplomacy&Trade, Ceva Phylaxia is growing and planning to grow.
“Investments related to capacity increase of production, warehousing of raw materials and finished products, future plans on secondary packaging of products and quality control testing require significantly more space than what we have in Budapest. This has led to the decision of buying land in Monor and making further investments there. The first project was the liquid nitrogen vaccine storage area where our modern vector and frozen vaccines can be stored from now on. These are vaccines targeting the prevention of illnesses of poultry products. Further production and vaccine testing capabilities are planned, with creation of more jobs,” the General Manager highlights.
One might think that animal healthcare is less important than human healthcare but there is close relationship. The health of humans, animals and the environment are interlinked, he adds. “For the last 10 years, Ceva has been working on the OneHealth concept. There is a risk that diseases affecting animals can transfer to humans. This was the case just recently when a Chinese woman died from H5N6 strain of bird flu. We are dedicated to using our expertise in animal health to minimize the threat of cross-species diseases (zonooses) that most of the time originate in wildlife.”
Strong and old scientific background
Ceva Santé Animale is the leading animal healthcare company in France and the fifth largest in the world. It carries out a significant R&D activity not only at the parent company, but also in Hungary as it was emphasized by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ceva Phylaxia, Thierry Le Flohic at the announcement of the Monor site. As Dr. Zsolt Németh explains,
Phylaxia has a history and experience of over a hundred years in developing and producing vaccines for livestock animals. Many Phylaxia scientists are known worldwide. 22 years ago, this team became the member of Ceva group and continued the research work there. Currently, more than 100 engaged scientists and veterinary clinicians work in different platforms where they are researching and testing various vaccine candidates. “From the conventional vaccines up to the ones produced according to the latest innovative technologies, we try to find solutions for the diseases which cause huge economic losses (such as avian influenza, Newcastle disease, Infectious bronchitis and Gumboro disease) or even human diseases. We are number 1 in hatchery vaccination; our poultry vaccines are present in 60% of hatcheries in the world.”
Billions of vaccine doses
Apart from R&D, Ceva Phylaxia in Hungary is producing, testing, packaging and distributing vaccines for prevention of illnesses of poultry, swine and ruminant. “We have more than 100 vaccines that we produce including the most modern vector and frozen vaccines, some offering prevention for avian flu or the Q fever that is zoonotic illness in ruminants. For the latter, Ceva Phylaxia is the only firm to produce a vaccine. Last year, we produced 49 billion doses of poultry, 175 million doses of swine and 95 million doses of ruminant vaccines. We also have a sales center in Hungary dealing with the sales and distribution of vaccines to Hungary and the Central European region. We are also proud of our Scientific Support Unit that helps our partners in the identification and prevention of animal diseases. We are doing our activities in strong collaboration with Hungarian universities and international scientific organizations,” the General Manager says.
Prevention is more desirable
Ceva Phylaxia exports 95% of its products to major meat-producing countries such as Brazil, Thailand, China, Mexico and South Africa. As Dr. Zsolt Németh points out, Ceva is convinced that prevention is more desirable and sustainable than curative treatment that should be left to the critical cases. This is why we have transformed our business from being around 25% vaccines, to close to 50% today. Ceva Phylaxia has played a very important role in that transformation. With its commitment to prioritizing preventive approaches to disease control and a number of initiatives that are helping to reduce use of antimicrobials to a minimum, Ceva is already contributing towards a more sustainable livestock.”
Social responsibility activities
‘Health, happy people and animals’ – as to how the elements of this motto appear in the socially responsible activities of Ceva Phylaxia, the General Manager stresses that the company is supporting one of the biggest animal shelters in Hungary, the Noah's Ark Foundation. In addition to donating adoption packages containing our healthcare products to the new owners of pets, we also take care of the shelter's residents, providing external and internal deparasitation products and vitamins.”
In these pandemic times, home offices and lockdowns, pets are becoming valued members of many families helping people to psychically ease the situation. With these donations, Ceva Phylaxia is helping both animals and the human society. The employees regularly collect donations for children in need and their families, such as clothes, school supplies, cleaning and hygiene products and non-perishable food. Blood donation is organized 3-4 times per year at the company’s premises site, and employees are encouraged to become blood donors by ensuring for them two extra paid days/year, he adds.
A One Health company
Ceva believes that the world needs a comprehensive approach to health that makes people understand that by protecting the health of animals and our environment, ‘we are protecting our own health and our future’. In the spirit of this statement, Ceva committed to become a One Health company over a decade ago. “We understood that our primary purpose of protecting the health of animals had a much bigger impact on society than simply caring for animals alone. Just think of the danger of people consuming possibly infected animals. One Health is a much broader and more holistic concept that many realize. It goes well beyond healthy animals and healthy people, and the management of diseases that can spread between us. In fact, One Health also covers issues such as climate change, environmental pollution, biodiversity, food safety and antimicrobial resistance amongst others – all areas where Ceva is highly committed and plays an important role. Going forward, Ceva will redouble its efforts to help improve the sustainability of animal agriculture as part of its broader commitment to living up to the One Health for all ideal,” Dr. Zsolt Németh concludes.
“We are proud of our 110 years old Hungarian heritage and the many scientists who worked and who are working for us or with us. Just to mention a name, József Marek was a Hungarian scientist – even a street is named after him in Budapest – who identified the Marek disease of chickens, and this disease is named after him all around the world. The first building in Monor will store in liquid nitrogen vaccines among which the ones are to prevent Marek disease. We are also proud our 22 years of belonging to the Ceva family the organic growth our company is doing year by year, the trust we receive from the headquarters, and the strong plan for further investment to Hungary.” (Dr. Zsolt Németh)
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