The Basque Government attends the opening of the Viralgen gene therapy centre, the only one of its kind in Europe and the first to develop viral vectors
- The Lehendakari stresses that the gene therapy centre belongs to a high-potential sector
- The Basque Government will continue to strive to improve the Basque economic ecosystem
Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu, the Basque Premier and accompanied by the Basque Government's Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures, Arantxa Tapia, and its Minister for Health, Jon Darpón, attended the opening of the VIRALGEN gene therapy centre. During his speech, the Lehendakari stressed the Basque Government’s commitment to “continuing to offering outreach, proximity and support to facilitate the implementation of those projects that represent an important investment for the future of our country”.
The visit consisted of a tour of the Viralgen premises and the subsequent opening ceremony. The Gipuzkoa Provincial Council Chairman, Markel Olano, the Mayor of Donostia-San Sebastián, Eneko Goia, the Provincial Councillor for Economic Promotion, Rural Environment and Territorial Balance, Ainhoa Aizpuru, and the Managing Director of Viralgen Vector Core, Javier Garcia Cogorro.
Viragen develops gene therapy and producs viral vectors to address genetic disorders and fight against rate diseases. Turning to the “vectors” concept, the Lehendakari stressed the economic vector, the research, health and, also, nation-building ones of this gene therapy centre.
As regards the economic vector, the Lehendakari noted that it is an important investment in a high-potential sector. “Investment, Innovation, Industry and Internationalisation are the four "Is" of our economic policy and this project therefore is in line with all our objectives,” he pointed out. Lehendakari Urkullu went on to explain that this investment generates activity in a technologically very competitive sector and with highly qualified professionals, where many women are working.
As regards research, the Lehendakari stressed that the setting up of this company has further strengthened the smart specialisation RIS 3 Strategy. “Viralgen’s arrival is a boost to the Biotechnology sector where it will act as a driver," he added.
“We welcome gene therapy that is focused on health research into new treatments that can help to cure rare diseases," the Lehendakari explained when speaking about the health aspect.
Furthermore, with respect to the nation-building vector, the Lehendakari highlighted the exclusivity of the centre, as it is the only centre of its kind in Europe and the first to develop viral vectors. “Our goal is for the leading European pharmaceuticals to see us a territory of interest,” he stressed.
The Lehendakari ended by pointing out that the Basque Government will continue to strive to improve the Basque economic ecosystem. “Working to attract investments and talent in the research and technological fields. Working with an international focus of our projects. Working together to create new quality job opportunities,” nuanced the Lehendakari.