Glenmark concludes post marketing surveillance (PMS) study on Favipiravir

INDIA – Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, a research-led, global integrated pharmaceutical company, today announced the successful completion of its Post Marketing Surveillance (PMS) study on Favipiravir in India. The study commenced in July 2020 to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Favipiravir in mild to moderate COVID-19 patients, Glenmark said in a statement. Results showed no new safety signals or concerns with the use of Favipiravir, and already-known side effects like weakness, gastritis, diarrhea, vomiting among others were found to be mild in nature. The time for fever resolution was 4 days,…

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African genomic startup 54gene raises US$25 million to expand precision medicine capabilities

NIGERIA – Since launching in 2019, African genomics startup 54gene has been at the forefront of bridging the divide in the global genomics market to which it has received a huge boost having secured US$25 million in Series B funding to bolster its efforts. Less than 3% of genetic material used in global pharmaceutical research is from Africa. The staggering gap is quite surprising because Africans and people of African descent are reported to be more genetically diverse than any other population. This round comes a year after the company,…

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Sputnik’s single-dose vaccine gets DCGI nod for Phase-III trials in India

INDIA – The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted permission for the conducting of the Phase III bridging trials of Sputnik Light on the Indian population. The Sputnik Light is a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine of the Russian vaccine Sputnik. The nod comes after a recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet said that Sputnik Light showed 78.6 to 83.7 per cent efficacy against Covid-19, significantly higher than most two-shot vaccines. In July, the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had refused…

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U.S. FDA approves Takeda’s lung cancer therapy

JAPAN – Japanese pharma company Takeda Pharmaceutical has been granted approval for its drug, Exkivity, to treat a type of lung cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Takeda said the approval was based on an early-to-mid-stage trial testing 114 patients with non-small cell lung cancer, with results showing clinically meaningful responses with a median duration of about 18 months. Exkivity was approved for patients with a specific gene mutation called EGFR Exon20 insertions in non-small cell lung cancer, whose disease has progressed on or after chemotherapy. The company…

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South African healtech Aviro secures pre-series A funding to improve and expand operations

SOUTH AFRICA – Aviro Pocket Clinic, a South African digital company that offers services empowering patients with accessible and engaging counseling and linkage to services via phones or other devices, has successfully closed a pre-series A funding round to go into expansion and improved service delivery. Over the past two years, Aviro Pocket Clinic has assisted 50,000 patients to access healthcare in Kenya and South Africa and is validated by leading healthcare providers such as UCT, ITS, and John Hopkins. The digital health self-care platform helps patients achieve favorable health…

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Kenya to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines starting next year

KENYA – Kenya will next year start manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines locally in collaboration with unnamed pharmaceutical firms in a move aimed at easing supply hitches that have derailed mass inoculation. Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe revealed in an internal vaccination blue print that the country has started the process of building a filling plant for the Covid-19 vaccines. A full-fledged vaccine manufacturing plant will be built by 2024, said Mr Kagwe. A fill and finish facility helps third parties put the vaccine from the main manufacturers into vials or syringes,…

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