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Brazil firm to produce NASA-made ventilator

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A partnership with Brazilian drug company Russer and the National Industrial Learning Service (Senai) will enable the production of lung ventilators as part of a project development by the US Space Agency (NASA). The equipment is used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in more serious states, which require support in order to guarantee breathing.

The permit by Brazil’s national sanitary watchdog Anvisa was obtained last week. At first, Russer is expected to produce 300 lung ventilators a month. When the product is to be available in the market has not been disclosed.

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According to Senai Director-General Rafael Lucchesi, the advantage of the ventilator is its price. If the average in the market stands somewhere beteween $9.1 thousand and $10.9 thousand, these should cost $3.55 thousand.

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In addition to the price, the project will expand the country’s production of this item. “It’s a robust advantage and it will have a domestic chain of components, and that’s key for production,” Lucchesi pointed out.

The project started when the company and Senai took part in a tender offer opened by NASA to forge partnerships aiming at manufacturing the product, developed by engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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First 331 companies from several countries were selected. In the second round, 28 companies remained, among them Russer and Senai. NASA will not charge royalties during the pandemic.

The director said that the firm joined the project when it identified the difficulty obtaining the equipment in the international market during a high-demand period such as the pandemic.

“It’s a crucial piece of equipment for COVID-19. It’s traditionally used at intensive care units, and became famous because this infectious disease generates a lung infection, so it’s decisive,” he told Agência Brasil.

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