Aspen Pharmacare

Fueled by its fill-finish contract for J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine, South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare last week opened a general anesthetics manufacturing line at its Gqeberha facility. Part of a $222 million expansion, the line is the southern hemisphere’s largest for general anesthetics, according to Bloomberg.

Aspen noted on social media that South Africa to date has “imported the general anaesthetics needed in our healthcare system.” CEO Stephen Saad told reporters that the facility…

The state of the hunt:

J&J’s vaccine became the first single-dose Covid-19 jab to receive EUL from the World Health Organization.
  A growing list of countries—including at least one COVAX AMC participant—suspended their rollouts of AstraZeneca’s vaccine over safety concerns.
  Monoclonal antibodies from Lilly and a separate mAb from GSK and Vir substantially cut the risk of hospitalization or death in people with mild or moderate Covid-19 at high risk of progression…

The state of the hunt:

CEPI expanded its funding for Clover Biopharmaceuticals’ S-Trimer Covid-19 vaccine candidate to $328 million.
  Humanigen touted positive interim Phase 3 results for lenzilumab and announced a cooperative R&D deal with the U.S. government.
  Russia approved a domestic version of Fujifilm’s Avigan for coronavirus outpatients, dubbing the product “the first [f]avipiravir-based drug in the world approved for the treatment of COVID-19.”


South Africa-based generics manufacturer Aspen Pharmacare announced this week the launch of Emdolten, its version of GSK’s once-daily, triple-combination dolutegravir/lamivudine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate tablet for the treatment of HIV infection.

Aspen is continuing to manage GSK’s business in South Africa after GSK’s decision to reverse its African expansion strategy, Reuters reported in January 2018.