ROMVAC – OVER FOUR DECADES OF IMPROVEMENT IN THE MEDICAL FIELD
Romvac, at the beginning of its journey in veterinary medicine
In 1972, the locust woodland pertaining to the Forest District of Bucharest made room for the first cornerstone of the construction of the future Romvac Company. So, Romvac Company S.A starts up in 1974, first as The Laboratory of Avian Tumor Viruses (LVTA), within the Avian Production Center. LVTA was producing a single vaccine at that time, the Marek Disease Vaccine, setting out a premiere at European level, the importance of which was emphasized also by an annual production of 20 million doses, in 1977.
Later in 1981, LVTA became the Center for Research and Biopreparations for Small Animals and Poultry (CCBPAM) with more than 30 biological products by 1990, being able to cover the entire need of vaccines for the large avian farms of Romania, as well as certain vaccines for foxes, rabbits and dogs.
Consisting of two buildings with research and production laboratories, two pavilions for animal trials, two SPF farms with eight pavilions provided with special insulators and technological extensions, this veterinary medicinal center had a state-of-the-art equipment, being considered up to 1985 the highest worldwide achievement in the field. Moreover, in its set up were involved experts and international institutes such as: professor emeritus Stive Hitchner, professor emeritus Julius Fabricant and professor emeritus R. Colle Genetist; Hougton Poultry Research Station, Hougton, Huntington, England; University Cornell Ithaca, New York, USA.
In 1990, by absorbing the assets and liabilities of CCBPAM, it turned into Romvac Company S.A. – Voluntari, a few minutes from Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Romvac started to produce vaccines for cattle, sheep and swine.
Predicting the evolution of the market, one of the most ingenious actions in the history of the company was the decision to also manufacture veterinary drugs, besides vaccines, sera and reagents, which made this Romanian manufacturer highly successful on the market. Presently, drug production represents 75 – 80% of the turnover.
In 1995, Romvac became one of the few MEBO privatized Romanian companies which succeeded in progressing freely on a strongly competitive market. After privatization, Romvac had 370 shareholders, meaning that every single employee at that time was entitled, without limitation, to buy as many shares as they wanted. The goals of the board of directors were to be among the best in the company’s field of activity. Up to 1989, Romvac was known as the Center for Research and Biopreparations, but after privatization the company lost that status, although technological research would constantly be carried out. Fortunately, starting from 2010, the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences reacknowledged Romvac as research unit and therefore the company gained the right to organize a vacancy-filling contest for Scientific Researcher III, II and I positions. Moreover, the company started implementing research projects together with AAFS.
Nevertheless, the research and production activities carried out by Romvac were the most prolific for the company’s progress. That was the period when the production activity became highly diversified. Pig vaccines were produced, such as Rompestivac against swine pest and swine erysipelas vaccine. They were followed by a vaccine against anthrax, a disease occurring both in humans and animals, and that vaccine was Carboromvac which has been prepared continuously since 1994 with great success in preventing such disease.
Drug production also developed, beginning with general tonics and rehydration products followed by vitamins, premixes, anti-infectious, antiparasitic products, all range of medicinal products necessary for the animals in Romania.
This diversification made possible the manufacture of more than 40 biological products and 170 drugs complying with the EU standards, among which there is Rombendazol under various presentation forms.
With 12 000 000 euro turnover, Romvac Company S.A. manufactures today more than 60 biological products (vaccines, imaging substances and diagnosis kits) and 200 medicinal products for veterinary use: general tonics and rehydration products, vitamin-mineral premixes, growth promoters and vitamins, antimicrobials and antimycotics, antiparasitic drugs, products for disinfection, disinsection and pest control, local anti-infectious, healing, desensitizing and antitoxic products.
Romvac Company S.A. is the biggest local manufacturer and distributor of animal vaccines and drugs owning about 20% of the local market estimated to about 55 – 60 million Euros.
Nowadays, the Company is renowned for providing a wide range of products of all kind (solutions, pills, powders, creams etc.) for all animal species in Romania.
With a thorough understanding of the progress on the market and in the field of activity, Romvac has always invested enormously in revamping, being provided with modern vaccine and drug control laboratories.
The company has its own Sanitary – Veterinary and Food Safety Laboratory (LSVSA). This laboratory is sanitary – veterinary approved and accredited by RENAR. Here one can make all the necessary blood tests, the treatment schedule is indicated and the products are provided.
Moreover, since 2015, Romvac has set up a Human Medicine Research – Development Laboratory, its activity consisting of research for the manufacture and use of specific antibodies (IgY)-based food supplements. The immunoglobulin Y treatment is indicated within the Certified Complementary / Alternative Medical Clinic of Romvac, a part of the Research-Development Department of Romvac Company S.A.. Its activity began in 2016, after the market release of Imunoinstant products.
Romvac and the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections
Considering the global context of a major health concern regarding antibiotic resistance, Romvac launched and sustainably developed in 2014 the Hyperimmune egg PC2 and Imunoinstant human product range, based on specific (IgY) antibodies. Romvac now produces natural IgY antibodies that are used as adjuvant in the specific treatment of infections caused by 18 antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains: Acinetobacter baumannii, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella spp., Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Clostridium difficile – bacterial bodies and anatoxin, Candida albicans, Helicobacter pylori, Streptococcus mutans, Enterococcus faecalis, Proteus mirabilis, Streptococcus group B, Candida glabrata and Candida krusei.
Immunoglobulin Y from these food supplements is extracted from the egg yolk of chickens immunized with human pathogenic microorganisms isolated from hospitalized patients in Romania. The greatest benefit of Imunoinstant products is that they can be personalized depending on patient and/or infection, so that the IgY should be effective strictly on the particular microbial strain. This way, Romvac used human patients-harvested bacteria to create an innovating therapy. Furthermore, the in vitro assays have shown that besides the specific immunoglobulin Y, there are many other antibodies that can neutralize various bacteria and even viruses in the chicken egg yolk.
The personalized treatment results are amazing: clinical healing is fast and the negative bacteriological assays confirm the elimination of the pathogenic agent from the body. Romvac also succeeded in healing bacterial infections that had persisted for years and even psoriasis having a substantial contribution to the health status improvement in children suffering from epidermolysis bullosa.
Since the mid 2000s, Romvac has been working only with the starting materials approved by the European Community. Since 2000, Romvac has been ISO 9001 compliant and its working areas and flows are GMP-compliant, a prerequisite for any veterinary manufacturer.
Willingly, Romvac wanted to achieve also the premium certificates, so since 2008 it has received the IMS (Integrated Management System) certificate, consisting of:
- Quality Management ISO 9001
- Environmental Management System ISO 14001
- Occupational Health and Safety System OHSAS 18001:2004.
In 2004, ROMVAC was awarded by the National Sanitary Veterinary Authority with the good manufacturing practice certificate (G.M.P.), a status reassessed (reexamined) in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Romvac and its own national distribution network
Due to its own distribution network (35 regional warehouses and 8 Romvac pharmacies), the company is representative for the veterinary medicine, providing not only its own products but also more than 1200 drugs and animal husbandry products manufactured by international companies.
Romvac Company S.A. has 430 employees, of which more than 100 are academic graduates (veterinary physicians, chemists, biochemists, biologists, chemical engineers etc.), and more than 130 have been working here for more than 35 years. The biggest objective of Romvac shareholders is to transform it into a large international manufacturer exporting in a lot of countries.
The big turnover is also due to the exporting activity. Romvac has been selling its products on three continents, in countries like Lithuania, Nigeria, Albania, Kosovo, Malta, Macedonia, Georgia, Kuwait, Moldova, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, Iraq, Iran, Italy and Qatar. Romvac has also submitted registration files in Egypt.
New projects and products
Romvac has its own Research – Development Program, with 15 research topics in progress. The aim is to obtain medicinal products, biopreparations, feed additives, phytotherapeutic substances and also agricultural and animal husbandry products.
Romvac is also involved in outsourced research programs, being a contractor in the whey lactose conversion project, a very beneficial product.
Besides this, Romvac is a partner in the project for smart technologies and products for prevention of mammitis in ruminants based on green chemistry of veterinary health compounds.
We will soon finish the registration and obtain the authorization for the inactivated rabies vaccine, for Columbopolivac vaccine for pigeons, bluetongue vaccine in ruminants, RomvacBlue – 4 and for avian tuberculin.
In 2015, following Eureka project regarding the upper whey recovery, Romvac set up the Compartment for Biotechnologies dealing with growth of various bacteria beneficial for animal and human health and which were based on whey. The first products to be obtained was Oligolac Animal Premix, a lactit yeasts culture effective on animal fertility. Due to its components, whey can be used for various purposes. By extraction of proteins, a wide range of beneficial products can be obtained. Lactoferin from whey is a strong antimicrobial against bacterial infections. The immunoglobulins can be separated and used in certain diseases prophylaxis, while minor proteins (below 10 KDa) can be used in feeding of animals with renal conditions etc.. All these are the current concerns of the compartment for development of alternative treatment to animal diseases.
After whey deproteinization, it can be used as culture medium for lactic yeasts and bacteria. A second product is cultivated on deproteinized whey, Bioenterom, a living Enterococcus faecium culture with a strong anti-diarrheic effect in humans and animals. The deproteinized whey is ideal for growth of lactic bacteria.
Another product is represented by silage agents. Bioromsil contains two bacterial strains, Enterococcus faecium and Lactobacillus plantarum. This bacterial mixture ensures an upper quality silo, by fast pH decrease via plant saccharides acid-lactic fermentation enhancement and increase of lactic acid contents. This fast silo acidification inhibits the growth of saprogenic flora, molds, the butyric fermentation is also inhibited reducing decomposition loss. By using silage agents we can reduce the fermentation period and increase silo quality-keeping. By using Bioromsil, we can ensure beneficial flora in the digestive tract of animals and increase palatability of feed.
The fourth product obtained within the Compartment for Biotechnologies is a human use probiotic with Lactobacillus plantarum, Bioenterom LP, successfully used for cholesterol level decrease, as adjuvant in treating obesity, diabetes, enteropathies and hepatopathies. Tests are performed at this moment to register this product as food supplement for human use.
Romvac also developed the phytotherapeutic product range, considering the antibiotic resistance of microorganisms and the fact that many customers began avoiding the synthetic drugs known for their persistence in the body, a reason why meat and dairy products are no longer accepted by food processing units or large food store chains. So Romvac created a 100% natural cream, Herbal Mycoderm, with antibacterial, antimycotic and anti-itching effects. RomEnteroprotect is another new product, an oral herbal extract-based paste used as adjuvant in enteropathies of all young mammals. Romvac also created Ecvipur, herbal horse shampoo for dark and bright hair.
Moreover, Romvac started producing the bacterial fertilizer, Rom – Agrobiofertil NP, fixating nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil, thus replacing the use of chemical fertilizers.
Romvac also extended the food supplement range for human use – Imunoinstant -, for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, psoriasis and immunity boost, to other products from new drinking solutions, suspensions, sprays, gels, creams, ointments up to pills. Among the products there are OvoCalD, for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and ROdia, for joint pain treatment.
As a conclusion, the image Romvac has built from the start up to the present day depicts an extremely rich and dynamic history of scientific achievements by their number and relevance, part of them being national or international premieres. But at the same time, the history of the company is marked by constant events which proved to be a “sine qua non” condition for its existence and development: productive management team, professional employees, experience over the years, reliability, strong will to always be on the market, ability to quickly adapt to new market demands, respect for the business and last but not least, the concern for human and animal health, all reflected in each product coming out of Romvac manufacturing premises.