💊 AfDB invests in African pharma and more; More copycats for AbbVie’s Humira; Africa CDC partners with US Pharmacopoeia Convention
#376 | Disputing the benefits of sleep for depression; Disputing the benefits of exercise for your brain; Disputing the benefits of seaweed as a climate solution
Hello, and welcome back to The Kable, dear reader. If you’re still getting over your Monday blues, today’s edition is the perfect cure.
Less than 5% of medical textbooks represent people of dark skin tones; not surprising, considering only 8% of medical illustrators identify as people of colour. Johnson & Johnson has launched an Illustrate Change campaign to, well, illustrate change. The initiative not only includes a database of diverse medical illustrations, but also a fellowship to support medical illustrators of colour.
South Korea’s Samsung Biologics has inked two new deals with Pfizer, cumulatively worth $897 million. Samsung will manufacture oncology, inflammation, immunotherapy and other biosimilars for the Big Pharma company until 2029. This brings the total of Pfizer’s deals with Samsung to $1.08 billion this year.
There’s more news from the biosimilar wave for AbbVie’s rheumatoid arthritis treatment Humira. Sandoz, Organon-Samsung Bioepis, and Boehringer Ingelheim have all recently launched Humira copycats. Today, it’s India’s Biocon Biologics’ turn. And Germany’s Fresenius’.
The African Development Bank Group is set to invest $11 million for equity in BluePeak Private Capital Fund. This investment will support mid-size firms – including pharma, agribusiness, manufacturing and logistics businesses – across the African continent. One of the main goals it will contribute to is increasing the production of malaria drugs to 75 million units by 2027.
In India, API manufacturer Ipca Laboratories is tragically keeping up the country’s reputation for quality issues in pharma. Subsequent to an inspection of one of Ipca’s manufacturing plants, the US FDA made 11 observations concerning quality and testing issues. The FDA’s grouse is Ipca’s failure to adequately investigate deficient API batches, recall products which didn’t meet standards, and conduct appropriate contamination testing.
South Korea’s GC Biopharma has entered a five-year long, $90.48 million worth supply contract with Brazil’s Blau Farmacêutica for its IVIG-SN 5% blood product.
China’s Zhende Limited, a medical supplies manufacturer, intends to build two plants in Kenyausing the Sh9.84 billion (~ $70 million) loan it has secured from the International Finance Corporation.
And finally, students in Uruguay are getting an extra week of winter break. Yay? Not really. Authorities are trying to avoid the potential collapse of paediatric emergency care as respiratory illnesses surge across the country. The only fact Uruguay can take comfort in is that it is not alone; other South American countries are also dealing with high burdens of flu, RSV and other respiratory illnesses.