Mexican Companies Develop Ventilator to Treat COVID-19 - FEMSA
Press Release

Mexican Companies Develop Ventilator to Treat COVID-19


  • Talent, innovation, and collaboration between educational institutions, government agencies, and the private sector successfully produce a 100% Mexican automated ventilator for the world.

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, August 5, 2020.– More than fifteen public institutions, companies, and universities have joined efforts to develop—in a record time of ten weeks—the VSZ-20-2 emergency ventilator. The ventilator is fully automated, has an easy-to-use design that allows for intuitive use, guarantees better patient safety, and is low-cost and easy to mass-produce.

The project began on March 29 when the Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition called for improving the prototype of a ventilator produced in Mexico. Grupo Coppel was the first company to respond to the call. As part of their Ayudando a quienes salvan vidas (Aiding the Lifesavers) initiative, Grupo Coppel contributed to GSE Biomedical so development could start. Metalsa—part of Grupo Proeza—and Torrey—a FEMSA company—worked together to develop the ventilator’s engineering.

This device required numerous specialized parts and a support project for its successful completion. Therefore, more institutions have joined the effort, such as:

  • Private Sector: GSE BioMedical; Grupo Proeza, through Metalsa; FEMSA, through Torrey, Solística and REPARE; Grupo Coppel; ALFA, through Nemak; Lodi Automotriz; Lanix Med; Steris; Ternium Salud, and BOCAR.
  • Educational Institutions: Tecnológico de Monterrey, TecSalud, the health systems of Tec de Monterrey and Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM).
  • Government Agencies: Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE), and the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS).

The Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition’s expertise regarding other ventilator initiatives such as the VSZ-20-21—which preceded and contributed know-how to this new project—was crucial.

The Secretariat of Foreign Affair’s management was vital to this achievement, as was COFEPRIS’s role. The latter granted the necessary permissions so the equipment could be manufactured in accordance with all the quality, operational, and control provisions they require.

The invasive mechanical ventilator VSZ-20-2 was designed to solve the lack of ventilators caused by hospital saturation. Because of its piston-based operation, it does not depend on wall sockets to work. Connection to an oxygen tank is sufficient; this allows for its usage in hospitals and areas suitable for treating patients with COVID-19. The ventilator is equipped with volume and pressure ventilation necessary for the type of symptoms a COVID patient might show. It has an intuitive interface that requires minimal training and various compensation methods, ensuring performance at any altitude. Patient safety was paramount: the VSZ-20-2 is equipped with a significant number of alarms, and censed data is readily processed to produce reliable monitoring and diagnosis of the affected patient’s progress.

The development of the VSZ-20-2 emergency ventilator further proves that collaboration between government agencies, educational institutions, and the private sector achieves successful projects in benefit of the Mexican people. This project has already joined the Juntos por la salud (Together for Health) initiative. Both the private and public sectors support and care for health professionals with personal protective equipment and hospital equipment to face the pandemic.

The Carlos Slim Foundation will purchase and donate the first twenty ventilators to four public hospitals in San Luis Potosí, Yucatán, Coahuila, and Guerrero. Metalsa will be responsible for managing the application process for ventilators. A Metalsa manufacturing plant located in Apodaca, Nuevo León, will be manufacturing the units in a COFEPRIS-certified space for medical equipment manufacturing processes.

Metalsa will be receiving requests from both public and private clinics and hospitals. They expect there will be enough ventilators to attend COVID-19 patients in critical condition in the country.

“I want to thank my entire work team at GSE Biomedical, in particular my team of engineers Arnoldo Heredia, Daniel Gómez, and Jorge Gutiérrez for having developed a large part of the engineering for this ventilator. This project is the result of an unprecedented collaboration to achieve the noble and common goal of being able to save many lives within the context of the crises we are experiencing,” said Ramsés Galaz, CEO of GSE Biomedical and professor at Tec de Monterrey Campus Sonora.

Ramsés Galaz also thanked the medical staff who participated in the development of the ventilator. He remarked: “I would like to thank Dr. Jorge Cortés Lawrenz and Dr. Héctor Cajigas for their clinical advice, and to all the medical staff at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition for adopting our design, as well as the clinical support that made this project possible.”

Participants in this project, regardless of their sector, seek to help Mexico and the world cope with the challenges we face due to the pandemic.

Today Mexico needs to be more united than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the whole world, shows us how interdependent we are and the strength we can achieve if we work together towards the same purpose. Together we contribute to the economic and social development of the country.


FEMSA is a company that generates economic and social value through companies and institutions, and it seeks to become the best employer and neighbor to the communities where it operates. It takes part in retail trade through FEMSA Comercio, which comprises the Proximity Division—OXXO, a part of it, is a chain of small-format stores. It has a Health Division that includes drug stores and other related activities. And it has a Fuel Division that operates the OXXO GAS service station chain. Coca-Cola FEMSA, a public bottler of Coca-Cola products, participates in the beverage industry. FEMSA is a shareholder of HEINEKEN, a company operating in more than 70 countries in the beer industry. Additionally, FEMSA Negocios Estratégicos offers logistics services, point-of-sale refrigeration, and plastic solutions to FEMSA companies and external clients. Through its Business Units, it employs approximately 300,000 employees in 13 countries. FEMSA is member of the Dow Jones Sustainability MILA Pacific Allliance Index , the FTSE4Good Emerging Index, and the Mexican Stock Exchange Sustainable IPC, among other indexes evaluating sustainability performance. For more information, visit
Grupo Coppel is a business group with Mexican capital created in 1939 in Sinaloa. It has a presence in every state in the country and is among the top 10 employers in Mexico. It is comprised of three business units: Afore Coppel, BanCoppel, and Tiendas Coppel. Afore Coppel: is the retirement savings fund manager that provides services to 11 million members and promotes independent workers in the formal savings system. It has more than 1,500 personalized attention modules in all Coppel stores. BanCoppel: It is a banking institution that offers financial products to more than 33 million clients. It has more than 1,155 branches; in more than 450 cities in the country. Tiendas Coppel: is a chain of department stores that offers a wide variety of financial products and services for the affordable Mexican market. With more than 1,500 points of sale and its online site, it offers its customers financing to make their purchases.
METALSA is a global Mexican company with more than 60 years of experience in the automotive industry, manufactures safe and sustainable mobility structures for people worldwide, seeking to minimize environmental impact through the innovation of its processes and products. Currently, Metalsa supplies the global market with manufacturing plants, offices, and technology centers around the world in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, India, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, and the United States. It also offers just-in-time services in sequencing centers located in strategic areas close to its clients. Through this international presence, Metalsa can effectively meet and execute their client’s global strategies at a local level. For additional information, visit
The Tecnológico de Monterrey ( is a private non-profit university founded in 1943 whose vision is to train leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit, human sense, and global competitiveness. Tec de Monterrey has 26 campuses in 25 cities in Mexico and an enrollment of more than 65,000 graduate and undergraduate students and almost 7,000 professors. Also, it has 27,000 high school students and more than 2,500 teachers at such level. The Institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) since 1950. According to the QS World University Rankings (2021), Tec de Monterrey ranks 155th. QS Latin America University Rankings (2020) ranks the Institution in 3rd place. QS Graduate Employability Rankings (2020) ranks Tec 1st in Mexico and 40th globally. In the Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings (2020), Tec ranked 1st in Mexico and 4th in Latin America. It is the only university outside the United States in the Top Schools for Entrepreneurship (2020) by the Princeton Review, ranking 8th in undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. Tec de Monterrey is the #1 institution in the Educational Sector within the Ranking MERCO Empresas, measuring corporate reputation in Mexico.
GSE Biomedical is a company that designs and develops medical devices and technology for intensive therapy, orthopedics, cardiology, diagnostics, pediatrics, and oncology. The company was established in 2012 in Hermosillo, Sonora, and has developed more than 14 medical device projects, some of them already have regulatory approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The company has applied for 48 patents worldwide, and more than 50 conferences have been given worldwide on medical technology and medical device design. Our main clients are located in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Currently, the company is focused on developing mechanical ventilators for intensive care units, as well as devices for sampling and diagnosing cervical and ovarian cancer, coronary endovascular implants for the prevention of acute myocardial infarction, devices for interventional cardiology procedures, and arthroscopic surgery devices for tendon and ligament repair in orthopedic surgery.
ALFA is a company that manages a diversified business portfolio: Alpek, one of the world’s largest producers of polyester (PET, PTA, and fibers), and the leader in the Mexican market for polypropylene, expandable polystyrene (EPS) and caprolactam. Sigma, a leading multinational food company, focused on the production, marketing and distribution of quality food through recognized brands including packaged meats, cheese, yogurt and other refrigerated and frozen foods. Nemak, a leading provider of innovative lightweighting solutions for the global automotive industry, specializing in the development and manufacturing of aluminum components for powertrain, structural components and for electric vehicles. Axtel, a provider of Information Technology and Communications (ITC) services for the enterprise, wholesale and government segments in Mexico. Newpek, an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in Mexico and the United States. In 2019, ALFA generated USD 17.538 billion in revenues (MXN 337.75 billion) and an Operating Cash Flow of USD 17.538 billion (MXN 44.28 billion). ALFA shares are traded in the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) and in Spanish Stock Exchange’s LATIBEX.

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