Sterling Pharma Solutions ramps up manufacturing capacity with £10m investment

UNITED KINGDOM – Sterling Pharma Solutions, a contract development and manufacturing firm, has announced a £10 million (US$13.5 million) multi-year investment strategy for its Dudley, UK, facility. This latest investment, which is part of Sterling’s multi-year investment strategy at its Dudley site, will include the construction and commissioning of new process development laboratories, as well as the installation of additional commercial-scale manufacturing equipment to meet growing demand for small-molecule API manufacturing. The project, which is expected to be completed in mid-2022, includes the installation of a 4.5 cubic metre hydrogenator…

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New HIV injective drug approved, to serve as substitute to antiretroviral pills

AFRICA – In a breakthrough, scientists have developed the first ‘long-lasting’ treatment for people suffering from HIV, Cabenuva, wherein thousands of HIV patients will be able to get the first of its kind injection instead of taking pills every day to keep the infection at bay. The injection which was approved in the UK will benefit around 13,000 HIV-positive persons who will be eligible for the injection through the NHS, which has been hailed as “great news” by organizations who claim it would make treatment more convenient. Many HIV patients…

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Luma Health secures US$130million to transform patients’ journey

USA – Luma Health, a patient engagement platform based in San Francisco, USA, has announced a US$130 million Series C funding round led by FTV Capital, a sector-focused growth equity investment firm, with participation from existing investors. This is Luma Health’s first funding since raising US$16 million in August 2019, bringing the company’s total funding to US$160 million. Luma Health, founded in 2015 on the premise that patients should be able to easily connect with their healthcare provider, is the most comprehensive platform available to unify and automate the patient’s…

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WHO, South Sudan ramp up Ebola surveillance following suspected case

SOUTH SUDAN – South Sudan and the World Health Organization (WHO) have announced that they have stepped up Ebola virus disease (EVD) preparedness and response readiness in the high-risk counties of Morobo and Yei River, Central Equatoria state. Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Representative for South Sudan said the UN agency has started developing a response plan and mobilizing resources to ensure that required preparedness and readiness priority activities are implemented. “We must start working together with partners, mobilize necessary resources and remain ready to detect, report, investigate and respond to any…

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Pfizer submits booster dose application to SAPHRA amid looming fourth wave

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has said it has received an application for the Pfizer booster shot. According to the local drug watchdog, it will commence with the assessment of data for the safety and efficacy of the third dose. This comes as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday backed the emergency authorizations for booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. As of 17 May, to 12 November 2021, 18,174,316 total Pfizer-BioNTech doses were administered with 3,574 total…

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Medtech startup CRIAM bags US$2.1 million funding to advance blood testing technology

PORTUGAL – Criam, a medtech based in Braga, Portugal, has raised US$2.1 million in seed funding to advance the development of its in-situ blood test analysis technology. CRIAM is a portable in vitro diagnostic company that offers rapid blood type, subtype, disease, and nutrient analysis. The device can be used in a variety of situations, including inside a moving emergency vehicle or in areas without internet or power. The need to test blood type prior to a blood transfusion can result in patients being rushed to the hospital for testing…

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Uganda sets up US$980K milk bank, second of the kind in East Africa

UGANDA – Uganda is set to get its first Human Milk Bank, the second in East Africa with one in Kenya, which will be hosted by Nsambya Hospital. The UGShs 3.5 Billion innovation is being mooted as a solution to challenges faced by mothers of premature babies who fail to feed their children because they lack milk at the time. Dr. Richard Mugahi, the Assistant Commissioner on Reproductive and Infant Health in the Ministry of Health says that the biggest challenges medics face when looking after preterm babies is failure…

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Pharmacy retail chain MedPlus gets India’s bourse approval to launch IPO

INDIA – MedPlus Health Services Ltd, India’s second-largest pharmacy retailer, announced that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved its initial public offering (IPO) to raise up to US$ 220 million (Rs 1638.71 crore). The Hyderabad-based pharmacy retail chain had submitted a Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) to SEBI in preparation for an IPO in August 2021. The IPO consists of a fresh issuance of equity shares worth US$80.6 million (Rs 600 crore) and an offer for sale (OFS) of up to equity shares worth US$ 139.6…

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AstraZeneca unveils new discovery center (DISC) in Cambridge, UK

UNITED KINGDOM – AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company has opened a billion-pound research center near the University of Cambridge hoping to build on the work in developing one of the first Covid-19 vaccines. The research center is a 19,000 square-meter complex that will house more than 2,200 research scientists. The pharmaceutical company now joins a cluster of businesses seeking to make Cambridge a hub for life sciences research akin to California’s Silicon Valley tech hub. The new £1 billion facility will feature cutting-edge robotics, high-throughput screening, and Artificial intelligence-driven…

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Inter-organization treaty sets out to vaccinate Nigerians against Meningitis, Yellow fever, Measles

NIGERIA – The National Primary Health Care and Development Agency (NPHCDA), World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, Gavi, the global vaccine alliance, and partners have entered into a treaty that will boost population immunity against measles, meningitis, and yellow fever in Nigeria. Along this line, the Taraba State Government, one of the 13 high risk states enlisted in the mission, has flagged off an integrated vaccination campaign to strengthen immunization of residents against three vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) – measles, meningitis and yellow fever. The campaign targets to reach over 4 million…

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