💊 Africa’s AMR burden; No cold FDC for kids, says India’s CDSCO; Air con is the answer
#498 | Brushing away pneumonia; SCANning away diabetes; Digging away from detection
Hello, and welcome back to The Kable for the last Thursday this year, which we're kicking off with momentous news. The first-approved malaria vaccine has landed on the shores of Sierra Leone.
In a huge leap forward for local manufacturing in Africa, Nigeria-based Innovative Biotech has acquired advanced diagnostic technology from the NIH, enhancing its capability to manufacture diagnostic tests in Africa, a significant move since 99% of such tests are currently imported. This technology, complemented by a new vaccine manufacturing facility, aligns with the African Union's goals and promises to revolutionise disease diagnosis and treatment on the continent, particularly for endemic and neglected tropical diseases.
Elsewhere in Nigeria, the country's first locally manufactured glucose meter facility, Colexa Biosensor Diagnostics Manufacturing, was unveiled, marking another significant step in local health technology and addressing the rising burden of non-communicable diseases like diabetes. This initiative, which aligns with the government's focus on reducing healthcare costs and promoting local manufacturing, has the potential to meet and exceed domestic needs, opening avenues for export, job creation, and economic growth, while providing an essential tool for the 3.6 million Nigerians living with diabetes.
If it is diagnostic tests in one African country, it is impetus for medical tourism in another. The Africa Medical Tourism Council (AMTC) has been launched in Accra, Ghana, aiming to develop a structured medical tourism infrastructure and enhance skills and equipment in medical specialties, thereby boosting the nation's healthcare services and reputation in medical excellence. This initiative, expected to attract more medical tourists and reduce outbound healthcare travel, aligns with global trends in medical tourism and emphasises the importance of high standards in healthcare delivery to position Ghana as a premier medical tourism destination in Africa.
In continuing good news for localisation in Africa, the EU has pledged an additional €32 million to support Ghana in developing its domestic vaccine production capabilities, as part of the 'special measure' initiative under the Team Europe initiative on manufacturing and access to vaccines, medicines, and health technologies in Africa (MAV+). This initiative, backed by €1 billion from the EU and European development finance institutions, aims to enhance the skilled workforce, facilitate technology transfer, and strengthen the regulatory environment in Ghana, reflecting the EU's commitment to collaborating with African countries in improving local vaccine manufacturing and healthcare infrastructure.
That's not all the EU is up to today. It has also invested over €900 million in Rwanda, primarily in health, critical raw materials, and agro-food industry development, as part of the Global Gateway strategy. This investment aims to enhance digital, energy, and transport sectors, improve health, education, and research systems globally, and includes significant funding for Rwanda's pharmaceutical sector, agricultural competitiveness, and the development of value chains for critical raw materials, reflecting a commitment to high environmental and social standards, technology sharing, and local job creation.
The Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) has signed an MoU with Nigeria's NAFDAC to facilitate the entry of Egyptian pharmaceutical products into the Nigerian market, as part of its broader strategy to collaborate with African nations in the pharmaceutical sector and expand its presence in African markets.
In Bangladesh's ongoing dengue outbreak, the death toll has inched up to just shy of 1,700.
In Japan, the country's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry plans to restrict sales of certain OTC medicines, particularly to those under 20, in an effort to combat the increasing issue of drug overdoses among young people.
GSK is expanding its focus on ADCs for cancer treatment, with a new agreement to pay $185 million to Hansoh Pharma for an experimental drug showing promise in various cancers, and potential additional fees of up to $1.5 billion based on milestones.
Intas Pharmaceuticals has secured an exclusive licensing agreement with mAbxience for a biosimilar of Etanercept, a TNF-blocking protein used in autoimmune diseases, granting Intas rights to commercialize it in over 150 countries, including Europe and the USA, with mAbxience handling development, manufacturing, and supply.
And finally, the dire situation in Gaza, where displaced children are receiving only 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily, exacerbating what was an already grave humanitarian crisis. UNICEF says there isn't even "a drop of safe water to drink in Gaza".