💊 Malaria escapes detection, treatment in Ethiopia; Goalkeepers Report calls for action on maternal, newborn health; Another pandemic scare
#426 | Good sleep v depression; Day shifts v night owls; Coal plants v clean air
Hello there. Welcome back to The Kable. Yesterday, WHO Africa unveiled the Report on Malaria in Nigeria 2022, the first state-level malaria profile report. The report presents an overview of the malaria situation across all States in Nigeria, which has the highest burden of malaria globally. The report covers trends in population, malaria prevalence and incidence, intervention coverage and use, and the number of cases averted over time.
Still in this West African nation, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare raises hope that Nigeria could become a hub for local vaccine production and distribution in Africa. While there are challenges in terms of investment, infrastructure, regulations and technological access, the country’s large population, skilled workforce, and existing capabilities could drive the path towards self-sufficiency.
As countries, especially LMICs, around the world focus on localising pharma production to secure access to health products, the WHO is organizing the Second World Local Production Forum: Enhancing access to medicines and other health technologies. Hosted by the Netherlands, the forum will take place from 6 to 8 November this year to shape the strategy and direction globally of local production and tech transfer. All stakeholders, policymakers, and industry leaders are invited to join the forum.
A vaccine candidate for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, developed at the University of Oxford, has been administered to volunteers for the first time. There is currently no approved vaccine or treatment to protect against this tick-borne virus, so everyone has their fingers crossed that this trial will succeed.
India’s Aurobindo Pharma has stepped into the Indonesian market; the drugmaker has acquired 15 branded products from Viatris and Pfizer. This deal is worth about Rs 400 crore (~$48 million).
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Health Ministry wants to expand access to innovative biopharma products to produce affordable treatments, especially for NCDs like cancer. The Ministry is updating regulations and incentivising pharma companies to support tech transfer, vaccines, and biotech products. The Ministry is also supporting the development of R&D efforts and supply chains. It is welcoming strategic partnerships between domestic and global industries.
And finally, Moderna has inked a deal with Germany’s Immatics to develop novel cancer vaccines and therapies. The strategic partnership also includes evaluating the combined use of Moderna’s investigational mRNA cancer vaccine and Immatics’ investigational cancer therapy. Moderna is set to shell out $120 million upfront, plus potential milestone payments.