💊 Sanofi all in for AI; The Council of the EU takes on AMR; IPD builds biomanufacturing capacity
Ending things with polio once and for all; Blaming bacteria for endometriosis; What’s new in space food?
Hello and welcome to a light and breezy day with The Kable.
First up: Africa. South Korea’s International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and West Africa’s Senegal-based Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) have inked an MoU with a focus on capacity-building so that in future, Africa doesn’t have to be at the tail end of the vaccine access line. The two institutes will collaborate in making IPD a regional Centre of Training Excellence in Biomanufacturing. The IVI-IPD collab will help equip talented youth, especially women, with specialized skills in vaccine R&D, manufacturing and distribution. It will enable manufacturing and tech transfer of existing vaccine technologies, strengthen Good Clinical Practice and regulatory pathways, and conduct end-to-end vaccine development relevant to Africa’s specific disease burden.
Sick of talking about the global health worker shortage? Let’s talk about what might plug those gaps in the future. At the end of 2021, the global AI in healthcare market was valued at around $7 billion. According to Future Market Insights, the market will register a CAGR of 38.5%, touching $181.8 billion by 2032. North America will account for the lion’s share of the market, with Europe close behind. The Asia Pacific region’s share will also grow as ventures here focus on AI-based healthcare tech.
Fewer antibiotics for humans and fewer antibiotics for animals. That’s what the EU is hoping for. The Council of the EU has adopted recommendations made by the European Commission to tackle the antimicrobial resistance problem. The recommendations propose a 20% reduction in the total human consumption of antibiotics and a 50% reduction in the total EU sales of antimicrobials used in farm animals and aquaculture by 2030. At least 65% of human-consumed antibiotics should consist of WHO-classified Access group products.
The US FDA has completed the most recent biannual update of its list of off-patent, off-exclusivity drugs without an approved generic. This list aims to encourage development – and the submission of applications under an abbreviated approval pathway – for medicines which have limited competition.
USAID has launched a five-year Health Resilience Activity in Ethiopia, focusing on leadership development and data training. The agency will grant Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health $12 million to build capacity to predict, prepare for, and respond to public health emergencies at the sub-regional level.
Schistosomiasis, or water belly, is a disease caused by a worm which manifests as swollen bellies in children and adults. It is linked to poor sanitary conditions and is prevalent in the poorest regions of the Global South, especially Africa. It infects about 200 million people annually. There is no market for vaccines against water belly in the northern hemisphere, which is why research into this disease hasn’t been a priority for large global corporations. But now researchers from Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation are making progress towards the first-ever vaccine to prevent Schistosoma masnoni infections; they are in the final phase of human testing and are awaiting WHO approval.
And finally, lest Big Pharma feel left out, let’s talk about Roche. The Swiss company is planning a public-private partnership agreement in Rwanda to tackle breast cancer.