Sanofi acquires Origimm Biotechnology to develop acne vaccine

FRANCE – Sanofi has announced the acquisition of Origimm Biotechnology, an Austrian privately held biotechnology company specializing in the discovery of virulent skin microbiome components and antigens from bacteria causing skin disease, such as acne. The transaction adds a potential first-in-class vaccine candidate in acne vulgaris, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, to Sanofi’s pipeline. The deal is expected to close in early December 2021. In addition to acquiring Origimm, the French conglomerate will use its mRNA vaccine platform, acquired through the recent US$3.2 billion acquisition of Translate…

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Aspen Pharmacare to produce, distribute own branded Covid-19 vaccine

SOUTH AFRICA – Aspen Pharmacare has made known plans to enter into a licensing agreement with Johnson & Johnson allowing the South African drug company to make its own-branded Covid-19 vaccine. The agreement, confirmed by Aspen in a statement, would extend an existing deal for it to package and fill vials of the US company’s shots at a plant in South Africa. The South African-based pharmaceutical plans to launch this vaccine under the brand name ‘Aspenovax’, it said in a trading statement on Tuesday. The group said it will manufacture…

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Leading real estate developer to construct new US$54 million multi-specialty hospital

MAURITIUS – Gateway Real Estate Africa (GREA), a property developer in Mauritius, has announced that it is the lead investor and developer of a new 81-bed multi-specialty hospital in Curepipe, Mauritius and a 135-bed oncology hospital in Coromandel for a total investment value of approximately US$54 million (MUR2.37 billion). The developments are to be co-promoted by London and Mauritius listed Grit Real Estate Income Group, who hold optionality to deploy funds into both projects. The construction of St Helene Artemis Hospital in Curepipe broke ground in June 2021 and it…

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J&J’s orthopedics unit DePuy Synthes buys Israeli robotics systems company OrthoSpin

USA – DePuy Synthes, a division of Johnson & Johnson has announced the acquisition of OrthoSpin through its Synthes GmbH affiliate. OrthoSpin, based in Israel, creates a robot-assisted external fixation system for orthopedic treatments. The platform is used in conjunction with the Maxframe multi-axial correction system from DePuy Synthes, which is an external ring fixation system. In January of this year, OrthoSpin received FDA clearance for its second generation, robotic, digitally-enabled G2 external fixation system. According to a press release, the acquisition exemplifies J&J’s efforts to advance medtech innovation, with…

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Kenya on course to achieving 100 percent universal healthcare goal

KENYA – Kenya has announced that the government is still on track to provide 100% Universal Health Coverage for essential health services, in line with the WHO recommendations. Speaking Tuesday during his State of the Nation Address, President Kenyatta urged the Senate to expedite the consideration of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (Amendments) Bill, 2021, recently passed by the National assembly so that all join in ushering Universal Health Coverage. “Mr. Speaker, Hon. Members, let us tear down the barriers that inhibit our quest to deliver quality health care for…

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Best Buy acquires Current Health for US$ 400 million as it ramps up healthcare strategy

UNITED KINGDOM – According to Best Buy’s most recent quarterly earnings, the company has spent nearly US$400 million to acquire remote patient monitoring technology vendor Current Health. Best Buy announced the all-cash acquisition of Current Health last month but did not disclose financial terms. During an earnings call this week, Current Health confirmed the valuation, which makes it Europe’s second-largest digital health exit. The medtech company, founded in Scotland in 2015 by CEO Christopher McCann and CTO Stewart Whiting, combines remote patient monitoring, telehealth, and patient engagement into a single…

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Nigeria’s MediSpark pieces together an African healthcare ecosystem through APIs

NIGERIA – Nigerian startup MediSpark, which describes itself as “Truepill for Africa”, is busy building an ecosystem of APIs (Application Programming Interface) and SaaS tools to synchronize data across Africa’s fragmented healthcare systems. MediSpark is the brainchild of Ugo Nwokoro and Gbenga Oyeniyi, who have known and worked together since 2016. Nwokoro and his family have been in the healthcare business for two generations – running hospitals, pharmacies and laboratories. He is also a product manager and UX designer, while Oyeniyi has been programming for over 10 years and built…

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Kenya averts lockdown in wake of Omicron variant, as vaccination drives intensify

KENYA – President Uhuru Kenyatta has signaled that his administration has no immediate plans to lock down the country again despite the new Covid-19 variant scare that is sweeping across the world, in a major relief to the economy ahead of the festive spending. The President is betting on an accelerated vaccination plan in the coming months to preclude the need for further drastic Covid containment measures such as lockdowns and a night curfew that slowed down the economy last year. “By receiving our vaccinations, we will have played our…

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Telehealth startup Hims & Hers partners Uber to drive on-demand healthcare

USA – Hims & Hers, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) telehealth company, has partnered with ride-hailing giant Uber to bring health and wellness products to 12 new markets across the United States through the UberEats apps. Uber has partnered with digital health startups to reduce transportation barriers to healthcare and simplify medication delivery. It partnered with COVID-19 vaccination coordination startup Dr.B in June to provide free rides to and from vaccine appointments. To deliver prescription medications, Uber has also partnered with digital pharmacy startups NimblerRx and ScriptDrop. Fast delivery has become standard…

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Telehealth startup Hims & Hers partners Uber to drive on-demand healthcare

USA – Hims & Hers, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) telehealth company, has partnered with ride-hailing giant Uber to bring health and wellness products to 12 new markets across the United States through the UberEats apps. Uber has partnered with digital health startups to reduce transportation barriers to healthcare and simplify medication delivery. It partnered with COVID-19 vaccination coordination startup Dr.B in June to provide free rides to and from vaccine appointments. To deliver prescription medications, Uber has also partnered with digital pharmacy startups NimblerRx and ScriptDrop. Fast delivery has become standard…

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