💊 Moderna’s lofty goals; WHO-WTO-WIPO’s TRIPS focus; Takeda’s new global CSR commitments
#428 | A case for going vegan in South Africa; A vaccine drop under your tongue; Cancer cells dig their own grave
Hello there. Welcome back to The Kable. A study conducted in 2019 and 2020 by experts at the University of Pretoria detected the presence of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes in beef and beef products at abattoirs and retailers in three South African provinces. Unfortunately, this pathogen can survive and thrive even under refrigeration. This means that contaminated carcasses could potentially enter the food chain and cause the life-threatening disease listeriosis. This might be a good time for South Africans to go vegan.
After two deaths from the Nipah virus in the Indian state of Kerala, over 700 people are being tested. A Reuters investigation from May had identified parts of Kerala as most at risk for bat virus outbreaks, blaming extensive deforestation and urbanization.
Still in India, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the FDI proposal worth Rs 9589 crore in Suven Pharmaceuticals. Private equity firm Advent International is set to acquire a 50.1% stake in the company. An open offer will be launched for another 26%.
Meanwhile, the Strep A Vaccine Global Consortium (SAVAC) is inviting proposals from interested sites in low- and middle-income countries for epidemiological and field-based health economic studies and future clinical trials of – you guessed it – Strep A vaccine candidates. SAVAC is accepting letters of intent till September 29.
Japan’s Takeda is taking its global CSR commitments seriously. The company has entered 5 new partnerships worth roughly $30 million with the Society for Family Health Rwanda, Relief International, Mercy Corps, University of Nairobi, and Partners in Health to strengthen health systems in LMICs. With these new commitments, Takeda’s global CSR programme expects to reach over 25 million people in 92 countries by 2028.
Moderna has been feeling quite ambitious lately; maybe it’s still riding on the high of what it achieved with its Covid vaccine. Yesterday, the company released a roadmap for investors, in which it said it aims to launch as many as 15 new products in the next half-decade. It forecasts billions of dollars of sales of respiratory products and new treatments for cancer and rare and latent diseases. The company has also won US FDA clearance for an updated version of its Covid shot. And it has vaccines for the flu, RSV, HIV and Epstein Barr in its pipeline. Just yesterday, it announced that its flu vaccine generated a strong immune response against all four A and B strains of the influenza virus in a late-stage trial. But for its Covid vaccines, the company suspects it overproduced a bit much this year – Moderna has excessive unused capacity and materials; it is in talks with its partners that fill vials and syringes with the vaccine globally to downsize production.
Ohio, USA-based drug repackager Safecor Health has received a warning letter from the US FDA. The letter cites four significant violations relating to inspections, cleaning and testing.
A report by the aptly-named Prophecy Market Insights projects that the API market will grow by 7.5% per year, thanks to the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. Valued at nearly $165 billion in 2020, that number could go up to $339.08 billion by 2030.