💊 Nigeria to set up a vaccine plant; Novartis gets into bed with Legend; Ajinomoto spices up with Forge
#471 | Take a nap in the day; With plants, researchers make hay; Climate change deniers should call it a day
Hello, and welcome back to The Kable for a surprisingly light read today. We guess the combination of conflict in some places and festivities elsewhere makes for slow news days.
Kicking the day off with a big announcement, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed a project preparation facility agreement with Nigeria's Innovative Biotech, aimed at supporting the development of a world-class vaccine manufacturing facility in Nigeria. This initiative is part of the African Union's goal to produce and distribute at least 60 percent of Africa's routine vaccines by 2040, and will mark the first privately owned, fully integrated vaccine manufacturing facility in Nigeria for various vaccines including COVID-19, HIV, Ebola, and HPV.
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and Bio Farma have successfully developed Bio-TCV, a typhoid conjugate vaccine, which has received approval for use in Indonesia. This development, part of a decade-long partnership funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims for WHO prequalification to make the vaccine globally accessible, especially in low-income countries.
Novartis is collaborating with Legend Biotech to develop faster-manufactured cell therapies targeting solid tumours, such as lung cancer, with an emphasis on the promising LB2102 therapy. The partnership, which includes a $100 million payment from Novartis to Legend, also incorporates Novartis' T-Charge technology, potentially making LB2102 the first solid tumour-targeting cell therapy using this method. The deal also sees Legend receiving milestone payments and royalties on sales.
Not to fall behind in the news, former Novartis company and newly-independent Sandoz has launched two new European facilities: a $160 million penicillin production site in Austria, boosting manufacturing capacity and supply reliability, and a $26.7 million biosimilar development centre in Germany.
Japan’s Ajinomoto, known mainly for amino acid manufacturing and contract pharmaceutical production, is expanding into gene therapy by acquiring Forge Biologics for $554 million. This move adds Forge's expertise in manufacturing adeno-associated viral vectors, crucial for gene therapies, to Ajinomoto's portfolio, aligning with its growth strategy in healthcare and biopharmaceutical services.
Teva Pharmaceuticals has secured up to $125 million in funding from Royalty Pharma for the development of TEV-'749, a once-monthly subcutaneous version of Eli Lilly's antipsychotic Zyprexa for schizophrenia treatment, currently in Phase III trials. Under the agreement, Teva will repay the funding over five years following US FDA approval, along with additional royalties, while, somewhat surprisingly, retaining global development and commercialisation rights.
It seems whenever Bayer comes up in the news, cancer of some sort comes up too. In the latest such development, Bayer has announced the voluntary withdrawal of its follicular lymphoma drug Aliqopa (Copanlisib) from the US market, following a trial that failed to demonstrate the desired effect on overall survival.
The US FDA has announced that Accord Healthcare has resumed production of the vital cancer drug Cisplatin, amid continuing drug shortages in the United States, which have impacted the availability of several cancer treatments. This follows the agency’s recent approval of Cisplatin from China's Qilu Pharmaceutical for US use and efforts to find additional suppliers for Cisplatin and other crucial cancer drugs.
And finally, don’t let anybody stop you from a quick daytime nap. Turns out they’re good for your brain.