New, potentially lethal COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa has identified a potential variant of interest (VOI) of COVID-19 that is assigned to the Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak Linages (PANGO) lineage C.1.2. According to the reports, the C.1.2 strain of coronavirus was first detected in May 2021 in South Africa when the country was experiencing the third wave. Speaking to the media, the officials stated that the C.1.2 variant of COVID-19 has since been detected across the majority of the provinces in South Africa and in seven other countries spanning Africa, Europe,…

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Sanofi, Regeneron burnish their blockbuster Dupixent franchise

FRANCE – As a stable of new players sets out to topple Dupixent’s status as the reigning antibody treatment for atopic dermatitis, the blockbuster’s developers are moving the goalposts. Dupixent has aced a Phase III trial involving 162 children between 6 months and 5 years old, Sanofi and Regeneron say, becoming the first biologic drug to show efficacy in this young population. When given Dupixent on top of standard of care topical corticosteroids, 28% of patients achieved clear or almost-clear skin compared to 4% of those on placebo — thus…

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Dr Reddy’s, Zydus recall products in US market as Bharat seeks out vaccine partners

USA – Leading drug makers Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Zydus Pharma are recalling bottles of a product each, in the US market, for different reasons, according to the latest report of the US health regulator. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc, the US arm of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, is recalling 37,560 bottles of Tizanidine HCl tablets, USP 4 mg, the latest enforcement report by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) said. The tablets are manufactured by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd at its Srikakulam facility, it added. They are used to treat…

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India likely to resume export of Covid-19 vaccines following jump in supply

INDIA – India’s rising output of COVID-19 vaccines and the inoculation of more than half its adult population with at least one dose are raising hopes the country will return as an exporter within months, ramping up from early next year. After donating or selling 66 million doses to nearly 100 countries, India barred exports in the middle of April to focus on domestic immunisation as infections exploded, upsetting the inoculation plans of many African and South Asian countries. However, India’s daily vaccinations surpassed 10 million doses on Friday, with…

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Compact with Africa pledges to ensure Africa’s post-pandemic recovery

AFRICA – Participants at the G20 Compact with Africa Conference, which featured heads of states in Africa and multilateral leaders, have committed to ensuring Africa’s post-pandemic recovery through private sector development and vaccine manufacturing. The Compact with Africa is a G20 initiative that promotes macroeconomic, business and financing reforms to attract more private investment in Africa. The African Development Bank said this in a statement titled ‘G20 Compact with Africa reaffirms commitment to securing Africa’s recovery from Covid-19 pandemic through private sector development and vaccine manufacturing’. The conference brought together…

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AstraZeneca, PSK launch digital solution for chronic disease management

KENYA – The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) in collaboration with AstraZeneca has launched a pharmacy-led end-to-end digitally integrated patient solution for chronic disease management dubbed ‘Kamba Ya Shanga’. The Kamba Ya Shanga initiative is a pharmacist-led disease management and referral programme aimed at improving patient outcomes for chronic conditions, connecting all key healthcare players along the patient’s disease management journey. Through the programme patients will be uniquely identified by the pharmacist, have their chronic disease treatment and medication monitored, receive support that ensures optimal treatment and correct use of…

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Nigeria’s Emzor, Mangalam ink deal to manufacture APIs in Africa

NIGERIA – Emzor pharmaceuticals, a leading manufacturer of medicines in Nigeria, has signed an agreement with India’s Mangalam Drugs & Organics Limited, to locally manufacture and distribute Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) for the treatment and prevention of malaria. The arrangement includes an API technology transfer and licensing agreement which establishes a co-development basis for manufacturing APIs for the treatment of malaria which continues to be a leading cause of death on the African continent. This will lead to the development of a world class API manufacturing facility in full compliance…

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