New prescription recommendations have been published for antimicrobial drugs against C. difficile infection

UK – The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) have published a new jointly developed guideline on antimicrobial prescribing for Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) infection. Under the new recommendations outlined in the guidelines, advice for managing C. difficile infection in both community and hospital settings has also been included. The guideline has made a change to current practice, recommending that the first-line choice of antibiotic for adults for a first episode of mild or moderate C. Difficile infection should be oral vancomycin…

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African Development Bank approves US$20 million loan to support Seychelle’s Covid-19 recovery

SEYCHELLES – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a US$20 million flexible loan to finance Seychelles’ Governance and Economic Reforms Support Program. This fund is expected to help drive the island nation’s macroeconomic stability and recovery from Covid-19 in the medium-term. The pandemic has severely impacted Seychelles’ macroeconomic performance. Real GDP growth, which averaged 4.2% in 2016-2019, contracted by 12.9% in 2020. The overall fiscal deficit of between -1.4% and 0.7% of GDP in the 2016-2019 period widened to -19.5% in 2020, while public…

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AstraZeneca completes its US$39B buyout deal of Alexion as it sets to expand its portfolio into rare diseases

UK – AstraZeneca has completed its buyout process of Alexion pharmaceuticals in a move that will see the British pharma giant venture extensively into immunology medicines and rare disease therapy. The deal came to fruition just a week after AstraZeneca secured a pivotal nod from the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). AstraZeneca, Alexion’s now-completed deal stands as a key stepping stone for AstraZeneca as it targets an ambitious sales goal of US$40 billion in just four years, up from the roughly US$26 billion it made in 2020. With the…

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AstraZeneca says its COVID-19 vaccine effective against severe disease caused by variants

UK – According to AstraZeneca, new real-world data from Canada shows its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, was found to be highly effective after one dose against severe disease or hospitalization caused by the Beta and Delta variants. The data retrieved from the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) with support from Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health showed one dose of Vaxzevria was 82% effective against hospitalization or death caused by the Beta and Gamma COVID-19 variants. Additionally, a single dose of the jab showed high efficacy…

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IFPMA And Speak Up Africa To Unveil Winners of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award

SENEGAL – The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa (SUA) will exclusively announce the final three winners of the first Africa Young Innovators for Health Award. The announcement will take place during the official Award ceremony on Thursday, 16th September 2021. The Ceremony will be a hybrid event in Dakar, Senegal and online. The Awards ceremony will convene prominent healthcare leaders from across Africa and beyond, from entrepreneurs to technical, business and policy experts to celebrate African Innovation. The final three winners shall receive…

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Roche’s blood therapy portfolio expanding following FDA’s approval of Venclexta

SWITZERLAND – Roche’s Venclexta has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated intermediate, high- and very high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). This designation was granted based on interim results from the phase 1b M15-531 study investigating Venclexta/Venclyxto plus azacitidine in people with previously untreated, higher-risk MDS. The approval will become the 38th BTD for Roche’s portfolio of medicines, and the 11th designation for its haematology portfolio. In the US, Venclexta has been granted six BTDs…

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SA’s natural health retailer and wholesaler Feelgood Health bags SAR4 million in funding

SOUTH AFRICA – Feelgood Health, a consumer healthcare company based in Cape Town specializing in natural health products, has secured ZAR4 million (US$ 280 thousand) investment from Enygma Ventures to scale its business and reach a wider market. Feelgood Health has been in operation for over 20 years and has experienced steady growth that has positioned them as a leader in the natural health supplies space. The company also has a rapidly growing wholesale division called Natural Wholesalers, focused on wholesale distribution of hundreds of health and lifestyle products to…

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Nigeria achieves commendable results in fight against tuberculosis amid coronavirus pandemic

NIGERIA – Nigeria has seen an increase in annual tuberculosis (TB) case notification due to strategic intervention by the National Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Program (NTBLCP), in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and other stakeholders working on TB control and elimination in Nigeria. In 2020 a total of 138,591 cases were notified;15 % higher compared to 106,533 and 120,266cases notified in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Also, comparing first quarters of 2019, 2020, 2021 case notification are 28,823, 33,132 and 43,838 (32% increase in Q1 2021 compared to…

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Nile Breweries donates US$92,000 worth of oxygen cylinders to Uganda

UGANDA – Nile breweries has put its weight behind the fight against COVID-19 by donating 300 75kg oxygen cylinders valued at over UG Shs333 million (US$92,000) to bolster containment measures in Uganda. The leading beer manufacturer in Uganda is among a number of corporates that are donating to the National Covid Task Force with an intent to save lives. While receiving and flagging off the donations at her office, the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said the donation, and NBL’s continued support and contribution to Uganda, will make a real difference…

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Biogen provide clarity amid controversies surrounding its FDA approved drug Aduhelm

US – Aduhelm’s approval has been the subject of extensive misinformation and misunderstanding as experts believed data from the first and second phase were not as exemplary as the third phase trials. The approval of Aduhelm by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came after an extensive development, testing and review process hence granting Biogen an accelerated approval. Biogen has stated that it is open to formal review and interactions between the FDA, members of the public and other concerned relevant authorities. Accelerated approval by the FDA The FDA…

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