South Africa gets major investment to treat Covid-19, TB, cancer, HIV

SOUTH AFRICA – United States-based multinational conglomerate NantWorks has entered into an agreement with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) for the transfer of manufacturing technology for Covid-19 and cancer vaccines and next-generation cell-based immunotherapies. This is a major boost to the country’s healthcare system in its efforts to treat infectious diseases such as cancer, HIV, tuberculosis and, more recently, Covid-19. As of 2019, South Africa had 7.5 million people living with HIV, 200,000 new HIV infections and 72,000 AIDS-related…

Read More

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…

Read More

South Africa based vaccine know-how transfer hub to replicate Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine

AFRICA – The WHO has initiated talks with USA based Moderna Inc to develop Covid-19 vaccines in Africa designed to help more developing countries access COVID-19 shots after rich nations bought up most of this year’s supply. The operations, which are to be carried out in the WHO- backed African vaccine hub may delay a while due to lack of progress in talks with the U.S. company, a senior WHO official has said. October last year, Moderna said it would not enforce patents related to its shot during the pandemic,…

Read More

Sanlam pays out over US$ 1.55 billion to Covid-19 claims as it curates mandatory staff vaccination

AFRICA – Sanlam, which is Africa’s largest insurer, has paid US$ 1.55 billion and counting in death claims since the beginning of 2020, with this year turning out to be the worst with the insurer paying at least US$ 705 million in mortality claims in the first six months of 2021. This is possibly a function of a bigger market share in the part of the population most affected by the second wave of Covid-19 infections. However, Sanlam CFO Abigail Mukhuba also pointed out that affluent clients who are normally…

Read More

Restrictions relaxed as South Africa scales down from alert level 3

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa will move from the Adjusted Alert Level 3 to an Adjusted Alert Level 2 with immediate effect, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced. South Africa will move from the Adjusted Alert Level 3 to an Adjusted Alert Level 2 with effect from Monday, September 13th, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday. In the new measures, the country’s nighttime curfew will begin at 11:00 p.m. local time and end at 4:00 a.m. Under the new eased restrictions, non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will be…

Read More

SAPHRA approves Pfizer vaccine for children over 12 in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African Health Products Authority (SAPHRA) has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use by children aged 12 and older, paving the way for the government to offer vaccinations to teenagers. The move follows a review of updated safety and efficacy information and doesn’t translate into a procurement decision, the South African health regulator said. Regulators approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for local use in adults in March. Africa’s most developed country has been the hardest hit by the pandemic, reporting the highest number…

Read More

Sinovac set to launch Covid-19 vaccine trials on South African children

SOUTH AFRICA – Scientist are poised to launch a phase 3 pediatric clinical trials of Chinese manufacturer Sinovac Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine in South Africa, as part of an international study that aims to evaluate the efficacy of two doses of the Coronavac shot. The study will evaluate the efficacy, immunogenicity and safety of the CoronaVac vaccine on children and adolescents aged 6 months to 17 years, the firms said in a statement. The trial has been approved by South African drugs regulator SAHPRA, and the first child will be vaccinated…

Read More

South Africa’s medical cannabis producer Cilo Cybin granted processing license

SOUTH AFRICA – Cilo Cybin Pharmaceutical (Cilo Cybin) has announced receiving a current Good Manufacturing Process (cGMP) licence, and accreditation from the South African Health Product Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) for pharmaceutical manufacture, product testing, processing, and final packaging of cannabis products in accordance with the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) standards. This makes Cilo Cybin the first cannabis producer in South Africa to have both a GACP (Good Agricultural and Collection Practices) certification as well as cGMP accreditation from SAHPRA. Cilo Cybin received GACP certification in May 2020 which enabled…

Read More

Mediclinic enters into EUR110 million renewable power deal with Energy Exchange

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s biggest private hospital group by market value, Mediclinic, has inked a deal for up to £110m (R2.2bn) in local renewable energy, part of its commitment for carbon neutrality by 2030. The company did not divulge the volume of power to be sourced from Energy Exchange, but said the move was part of its ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. South Africa, the continent’s worst polluter, emits millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, much of it from coal-fired power…

Read More

Insurance major Discovery to introduce mandatory Covid-19 vaccine policy, as staff and clients deaths rise

SOUTH AFRICA – Discovery, the leading South Africa-based financial services firm has announced plans to move to a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy from 1 January 2022, citing that it has ‘moral and legal obligation’ to do so. In its annual results published on 2 September, the Group revealed that it currently employs 12,950 employees across its key healthcare, banking and financial businesses. “Discovery intends to move to a mandatory vaccination policy effective 1 January 2022 given the clear moral and social obligation, as informed by our core purpose to make…

Read More