Roche terminates partnership to develop COVID-19 pill with Atea

SWITZERLAND – Roche Holding AG has terminated its collaboration with Atea Pharmaceuticals Inc.to develop a COVID-19 antiviral pill, the Swiss drugmaker has announced. The partnership termination has happened a month after the drug failed to help patients in a small study. Many pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop an oral pill that can be taken as an early at-home treatment to help prevent COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, a promising new weapon in the pandemic’s fight. Following promising data, pills from Merck & Co Inc. and Pfizer Inc are currently being…

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Zambia receives massive donations of Covid-19 facemasks from Germany

ZAMBIA – Over the past months, the Ministry of Health of the Federal Republic of Germany has made in-kind donations of surgical and medical masks to the World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 120 million face masks have been distributed to 100 countries all over the world. As part of this donation, the WHO country office in Zambia received 924,000 surgical and medical face masks for its work in Zambia to support the Ministry of Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The kind support from the Government of Germany…

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Deloitte, Sanofi partner to automate pharmacovigilance

FRANCE – Deloitte and Sanofi have collaborated on a next-generation, artificial intelligence (AI) software-as-a-service adverse events case intake platform aimed to revolutionize pharmacovigilance (PV) and address some of the industry’s most pressing operational safety issues. Many pharmaceutical companies have traditionally been cautious about incorporating machine analysis technology into a pharmacovigilance workflow, owing to compliance concerns. With the amount of data and the number of sources growing at an exponential rate, many companies have begun to test and integrate machine analysis tools into their pharmacovigilance workflows. A pharmacovigilance workflow includes a…

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Yellow Fever outbreak claims more lives despite ongoing containment measures

GHANA – The Ghana Health Service has announced that 25 people have so far died from the recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in Savannah and Upper West Regions. A statement signed by Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General, and shared with the Ghana News Agency, said 18 persons were also on admission. The outbreak, which was initially detected in the Savannah Region, has now spread to the East District of the Upper West Region, the statement added. The GHS on the 29th October 2021 notified the public of an outbreak of…

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Right to Care develops app to help South-Africans locate Covid-19 vaccines

SOUTH AFRICA – A new website has been launched to help South Africa’s healthcare workers, who participated in the Sisonke study, find their nearest Covid-19 vaccine sites administering booster Johnson & Johnson jabs. South Africa’s vaccine rollout began in February with the Sisonke study. Healthcare workers were prioritised and received the single-dose J&J vaccine. Now, more than nine months later, Sisonke2 offers these healthcare workers a second dose of the J&J vaccine as a booster shot to counter waning immunity. These booster doses are available to nearly 500,000 people who…

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Pfizer signs deal allowing manufacture of its generic Covid pill in 95 countries

USA – Pfizer, a US pharmaceutical company, has signed an agreement that will allow other drug companies in 95 countries to produce its COVID-19 antiviral treatment candidate for low- and middle-income countries, according to Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).  Under the terms of the license agreement between Pfizer and the MPP, qualified generic medicine manufacturers worldwide were granted sub-licenses to supply the new drug in combination with ritonavir to 95 countries, mostly in Africa, Asia, and some in South America. Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) is a United Nations-supported public health organization…

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Africa Union outlines guidelines to help combat antimicrobial resistance

AFRICA – An interdisciplinary panel of infectious disease clinicians and public health experts led by the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a first edition of the African Antibiotic Treatment Guidelines for Common Bacterial Infections and Syndromes. Africa Union Member States and public health stakeholders have identified the lack of locally developed clinical treatment guidelines that define when to treat infections and what appropriate antimicrobial agents to use as a major barrier to providing quality healthcare…

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Amneal Pharmaceuticals to enter India’s drug formulation market

INDIA – Amneal Pharmaceuticals, a US-based drug maker is set to make a debut in India’s domestic formulation market, with focus on biologics, complex injectables, and specialty drugs. The company plans to hit the Indian market with its first products aimed at addressing the critical care market as early as the first quarter of 2022. Subsequently, the company intends to launch a branding and awareness campaign in the second-half of 2022 and introduce more products by then. Chirag Patel, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Amneal, said that the company “will be…

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Serum Institute of India to resume vaccine supply to Covax

INDIA – The Serum Institute of India (SII) has announced that it will export 20-30 million doses of Covishield jab to the WHO-backed global platform Covax by the end of this year and then many more from January. The World Health Organization (WHO), which co-leads COVAX, has urged India to re-start supplies for the program, particularly after it sent approximately 4 million doses to its neighbors and partners in October. India’s government issued a moratorium that stopped vaccine exports as the brutal second wave devastated India in the first quarter…

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