SA’s Biovac in talks to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines

  In the past Biovac has partnered with companies like Pfizer and Sanofi. By Wendell Roelf and Alexander Winning, Reuters 14 Oct 2020  12:14 Image: Shutterstock A South African company part-owned by the government is in talks with the global Covid-19 vaccine distribution scheme and pharmaceutical companies to produce some of the vaccines the country needs to protect itself against the disease. The Biovac Institute, a Cape Town-based joint venture between the government and private sector, could produce up to 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines per year, depending on the technology involved,…

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Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies must handle returned drugs better

Pharmaceutical manufacturers should focus on reducing faults and working closely with pharmacies to manage medicine stocks better. But the return of medicine can’t be avoided. It’s inevitable that some products would be returned because of faults or when they have expired. Most drug returns are caused by recalls. A recall is typically done by the manufacturer. It’s different from a return of pharmaceutical products by customers. Whatever the reason for the return, manufacturers, importers, retailers, exporters and end-users must follow strict requirements for the removal of waste. In the normal…

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What South Africa is doing to protect and share traditional medicine resources

  African traditional medicine is gaining attention and innovation interest despite the advances in modern medicine. Most of the continent’s population use traditional medicine for at least some of their healthcare needs.   The Faraday Muti Market, a popular African traditional medicine market in downtown Johannesburg. Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images What South Africa is doing to protect and share traditional medicine resources There are still many communities whose traditional knowledge is not recognised. But a number of African countries are recognising the need to protect traditional knowledge. They are putting policies…

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Aspen’s pot of gold

    Aspen’s latest divestment brings its sales tally to R30bn in 18 months, bringing its debt under control and putting the group on a surer footing for growth — management says. Africa’s largest drug company, the JSE-listed Aspen, has sold the rights for its European thrombosis business to US pharmaceutical firm Mylan for R12.6-billion. It has, however, retained its thrombosis business in its core emerging markets including South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. This is likely the last of the major disposals intended to refocus the business and cut debt.…

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Novavax begins mid-stage study of Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa

Aug 17 (Reuters) – U.S. drug developer Novavax Inc said on Monday that it is starting a mid-stage study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa, as the country experiences a surge in coronavirus cases. The Phase 2b trial study of NVX-CoV2373 will be conducted on about 2,665 healthy adults and will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity in about 240 medically stable, HIV-positive adults, the company said in a statement. “Because South Africa is experiencing a winter surge of COVID-19 disease, this important Phase 2b clinical trial has the…

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Medicines for All Institute partners with South African manufacturer to increase access to lifesaving drugs

  The Medicines for All Institute has entered into a partnership with a manufacturer in South Africa to commercialize advances made by the institute to improve access to lifesaving medications for HIV/AIDS and other diseases. The institute, which has successfully developed cost-saving formulas for key anti-HIV drugs, is based at Virginia Commonwealth University and its College of Engineering in Richmond, Virginia. Officials at VCU and Chemical Process Technologies Pharma Ltd. recently signed a three-year agreement outlining their collaboration. The South African company will validate and scale up processes developed by…

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Indigenous cosmetic brands are taking off in SA

Looking pretty is serious business, with the sector continuing to register good growth. Image: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg A struggling economy doesn’t necessarily mean makeup products will be left on the store shelf, but those shopping for cosmetics are increasingly looking for more affordable and organic brands. According to market research firm Euromonitor International, although consumers are cutting back on non-essential goods, beauty and personal care products continue to register good growth, despite the challenges in the market. “On the demand side, a strong personal grooming trend where greater importance was attached…

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Aspen set to sign deal with Indian supplier

Aspen Pharmacare is poised to sign a deal with an Indian company to provide it with the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used for making HIV/Aids drugs, CEO Stephen Saad said on Thursday, shortly after presenting the company’s annual results to investors. Aspen, SA’s biggest pharmaceutical manufacturer and one of its longest-standing suppliers of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to the government, has consistently said that the low-margin, high-volume business is vulnerable to exchange-rate fluctuations that affect the cost of imported APIs, which are priced in dollars These ingredients accounted for between 60%…

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Engineered probiotics a gutsy new field

CAPE TOWN – Bacteria mostly have a bad reputation for causing disease, so the idea of drinking a few billion bacteria every day for your health might seem a bit hard to “swallow!” However, substantial scientific evidence is indicating that bacteria can be used to treat and prevent many illnesses. Therefore, millions of people all over the world are taking capsules of probiotics on a daily basis with the goal of improving their digestion and health. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are often recommended for gastrointestinal problems, for…

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Pharmaceutical operations gives Adcock Ingram a boost

CAPE TOWN –  The Adcock Ingram Group has reported an 11 percent increase in headline earnings per share to 421.7 cents from continuing pharmaceutical operations for the year to June 30, 2019, in spite of weaker consumer spending.   The share price increased 4.3 percent to R57.90 Wednesday morning after the release of the results, in a market where the JSE All Share index barely moved.   Turnover rose 11 percent to R7 billion and trading profit was up 12 percent to R955 million. A final dividend of 100 cents per…

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