The City of Zagreb and the government would partner up to take ownership of the Immunology Institute (IMZ), the indebted state-owned institute which specialises in making vaccines and blood products used in health care, Health Minister Milan Kujundzic said on Tuesday.
The institute, which the government unsuccessfully tried to privatise in 2015, needed at the time at least a 100 million kuna (€24.4 million) investment to buy new equipment to successfully continue to produce and sell its vaccines and blood products.
It also owns valuable samples of virus types used to make vaccines for worldwide distribution, including the so-called Edmonston-Zagreb vaccine against measles which has been deemed the best in the world according to the World Health Organisation.
"The plan for the Immunology Institute is to save jobs, and to ensure the manufacturing of blood plasma derivatives to continue, as soon as possible. And after that, we will look for a solution for the production of vaccines, and into ways of saving that as well - either by doing it alone, or in cooperation with some global partner," Kujundzic told reporters.
He added that an agreement on the partnership between the IMZ, the City of Zagreb, and the government would be signed in the coming days.
"The institute is in a bad shape, both technologically, and in terms of the state of its building, so the basic idea is to construct a new home for it in a new location as soon as possible, in which plasma derivative products could be produced," Kujundzic said.