South Africa inaugurates first ever robotic-assisted surgery in Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – The Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, is set to become the first hospital in Africa to perform robotic-assisted surgery following the launch of the state-of-the-art Da Vinci X-I surgical robot. Groote Schuur will be one of eight hospitals in South Africa which will be performing robotic surgeries, seven of which are in the private sector. At a cost of just under US$2.71 million (R40 million), the multi-armed robot will aid surgeons in doing complex surgeries on the human body in a less invasive and…

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GE unveils US$2.5 million engineer training programme in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – General Electric (GE), leading provider of Healthcare technologies, has announced a five-year, US$2.5 million investment in Johannesburg to launch ‘Next Engineers’, a global initiative focused on increasing the diversity of young people in engineering. GE has selected Johannesburg as one of four inaugural locations, aiming to inspire more than 3,500 local students aged 13 to 18 in grade eight to twelve, provide first-hand experiences in engineering, and award financial support to pursue further education in engineering. GE is partnering with PROTEC, South Africa’s leading non-profit organization that…

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Top leaders rally US$23M funding drive for Nigeria’s medical research

NIGERIA – Former Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Muhammad Sanusi II, have volunteered to mobilize stakeholders to raise a seed fund of US$23.34 million (N10 billion) for the development of impactful medical research outputs in the country. The duo made the commitment at a public presentation of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Foundation citing concern over the funding challenge facing researchers’ efforts to develop homegrown impactful research works. These funds will enable researchers conduct studies that will primarily…

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Cuban government throw its weight behind Kenya’s research and pharmaceutical fields

KENYA – Kenya and Cuba have pledged to enhance bilateral relations in the field of research, vaccines and pharmaceutical products as the former moves to implement further reforms in the health sector. In a meeting with Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday, outgoing Cuba’s ambassador to Kenya, Ernesto Gómez Díaz said his country remains committed to provide technical support to Kenya as demonstrated by the presence of specialist Cuban doctors in the country who are part of a medical exchange programme between the two nations. “We already have 53…

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USA grants Mozambique government US$800,000 to further Malaria research

MOZAMBIQUE – The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided an US$800,000 grant to the Centro de Investigação em Saúde de Manhiça (CISM) for malaria and maternal and child health research. The grant will fund studies on the effectiveness of the pneumococcal vaccine and anti-malaria medicines and treatments. USAID, CISM and the Mozambican Ministry of Health (MISAU) collaborated to identify these topics as critical to improving malaria and maternal and child health care in Mozambique. USAID support will allow CISM to gather the most…

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PharmEasy acquires hospital supply-chain management startup Aknamed for US$190 million

INDIA – India’s largest online pharmacy chain, PharmEasy, has acquired Aknamed, a cloud-based hospital supply chain management start-up, in a largely inventory deal valued at US$180 – US$190 million. Aknamed, based in Bengaluru, India’s largest industrial city, provides procurement options to over 1,200 hospitals, among them Manipal Hospitals, Columbia Asia, and Narayana Wellbeing. Founded in 2018 bySaurabh Pandey and Mahadevan Narayanmoni, Aknamed has managed to grow its monthly revenue 10 times at the end of the last fiscal year. The acquisition, which is much like its buy of Thyrocare in…

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KeNIA, Villgro unveil innovation programme aimed at fostering healthcare services

KENYA – The Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) and Villgro Africa have launched the Kenya Healthcare Innovation Programme which opens opportunity for all with the potential to improve optimal health outcomes or make healthcare more to present their ideas. Villgro, formerly known as Rural Innovations Network, is among India’s oldest social enterprise incubators with well-established roots in Kenya since 2017. Villgro funds, mentors and incubates early-stage, innovation-based social enterprises that impact communities. The program by KeNIA will award participants with the best solutions with cash prizes and access to other…

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Roche strikes US$3 billion deal with Adaptimmune to develop cell therapies for cancer

SWITZERLAND – Roche has acquired rights to a group of off-the-shelf cancer cell therapy programs from Adaptimmune, agreeing to work with the biotech on five “shared cancer targets” as well as some additional personalized T cell therapies. The Swiss drugmaker will pay Adaptimmune US$150 million now and could add another US$150 million over five years if the deal remains active that long. The deal could be worth more than US$3 billion if various milestones are met, though that money isn’t guaranteed. Adaptimmune could also opt for royalties on sales or…

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Lilly inks deal with ProQR as it establishes itself in genetic medicine

USA – Eli Lilly is expanding its presence in genetic medicine by partnering with ProQR Therapeutics in a research partnership that’s centered on the Dutch biotech company’s technology for editing RNA. The two companies will use ProQR’s “Axiomer” platform, which is designed to enable the editing of single nucleotides within RNA, a potentially useful tool for correcting the effects of disease-causing genetic mutations. They will collaborate on as many as five potential treatments for liver and nervous system conditions. Per deal terms, Lilly will pay ProQR US$20 million in cash…

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Management software, “Bloom”, revolutionizes mPharma’s operations

GHANA – Bloom, a management software used by mPharma, has allowed the Ghanaian healthcare startup to coordinated pharmacies within its network sell medicines at the same price to customers, a remarkable milestone. Bloom enables mPharma to quickly standardized operations by networking the pharmacies through a technology platform. It has enabled the pharmacies to introduce mutti, a membership-based loyalty program and implement primary care services, including point of care testing and disease management solutions. In July, mPharma inked a deal with Absa bank Ghana to launch Absa Mutti, a platform that…

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