💊 An immunisation action plan for Africa; Malaria diagnostics for Angola; Bedbugs for the world
#451 | CD8+ lymphocytes block TB; Old mice make more babies; Blocking Covid-linked inflammation in our bodies
Hello, and welcome back to The Kable. As South Africa aims to improve immunisation coverage, the Department of Health will invest R3.5 billion to include new vaccines in the routine expanded programme. This includes a vaccine for whopping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria and a combination shot for measles and rubella for young girls, especially during pregnancy. The country will also transition from mass vaccination campaigns for Covid to integrating Covid immunisation into routine primary healthcare. Further, the country will lift restrictions limiting the procurement of vaccines by private sector providers. The changes to the national immunisation programme will come into effect from January 2024.
The WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Programme has announced the update and release of ScreenTB, a web-based tool to help countries to develop screening and prevention approaches tailored to their specific contexts. This supports countries to achieve the ambitious targets they have set to detect and treat 45 million people with TB and initiate preventive TB treatment for 45 million people by 2027. The tool is available free of charge for all. Check it out here.
Noul, a South Korean in-vitro diagnostics maker, has inked an exclusive sales deal worth around 2 billion won (~$1.4 million) with a medical device wholesaler in Angola. Noul will supply the wholesaler with its automated diagnostic platform miLab and malaria diagnostic cartridges through 2028. The miLab platform is ideal to conduct tests in areas where large equipment, labs, and basic infrastructure is still lacking. This is Noul’s fourth deal (and probably not the last) this year with a developing market in the Middle East and Africa. Noul hasn’t yet revealed the name of its partner company in Angola.
As Novo Nordisk expands beyond its core in diabetes, it has struck a deal with Singapore-based KBP Biosciences. Nordisk will acquire KBP’s late-stage drug Ocedurenone for uncontrolled hypertension and advanced chronic kidney disease. While Nordisk has said that it could end up shelling out up to $1.3 billion, specific financial details have not been disclosed.
Dutch biotech Synaffix has entered a licensing agreement with Czech clinical-stage immuno-oncology company SOTIO Biotech. Under the deal, SOTIO will gain access to Synaffix’s technology platform to develop its own ADC pipeline, with the option to expand research and commercial licenses into two additional programmes at a later date. Synaffix stands to earn up to $740 million from this deal.
“That is a part of our DNA.” That’s what Germany’s Health Minister had to say about intellectual property (IP) rights before the release of the second draft of the Pandemic Accord yesterday. He told the World Health Summit that Germany and most of its fellow EU members would not accept a pandemic agreement with major limitations on IP protections. Yay for the developed world’s pharma industry. Not so yay for health equity.
And finally, it appears that the bedbug problem is not limited to Paris. Over the past couple of decades, there has been a global resurgence in bedbugs – a resurgence which is not likely to wane anytime soon. Vox covers the eventful history of these pesky creatures and why they’re booming again. Spoiler: they’ve evolved resistance to many pesticides.