LMICs

India’s Hilleman Laboratories is setting up in Singapore, a company press release said Monday. The Merck and Wellcome joint venture is investing $58 million over the next five years to develop a 30,000-square-foot facility focused on R&D and clinical trials “up to Phase II stage.” Expected to be fully operational by early 2023, the site will develop “affordable, high-value vaccines and biologics for Singapore as well as low- and middle-income countries.”

Meanwhile, Fujifilm…

Public agencies in over 100 LMICs will be able to buy SD Biosensor’s STANDARD Q HIV/Syphilis Combo test for less than $1 through a collaboration between the company, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Britain’s MedAccess, the partners announced Monday.

A volume guarantee agreement between MedAccess and the South Korean manufacturer will make the WHO-prequalified diagnostic available to a cohort of countries bearing 98% of the global burden of congenital syphilis and 93% of…

Teva announced Wednesday a $4 billion “sustainability-linked financing framework” that the company will use to refinance its debt while incentivizing its efforts to increase access to medicines in LMICs by 150%.

The Access to Medicine Foundation has independently validated the Tel Aviv-based company’s framework, which also includes a goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025, the press release said.

Novartis and Sanofi have also issued bonds with rates…

Some 47% of the world’s population has little or no access to basic diagnostics except those for HIV and malaria, according to a report issued last week by the Lancet Commission on Diagnostics. Access to diagnostics is the “single largest gap in the care pathway” and is most severe at the primary healthcare level, where only about 19% of people in LMICs have access to simple tests, the article said.

The Commission proposed 10 recommendations to combat the low visibility and priority of…

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Bayer announced Tuesday that it is upping its investment to over $460 million for new manufacturing facilities for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and hormonal intrauterine systems (IUS).

The company plans to build a new “state-of-the-art” plant in Costa Rica by 2024 and expand previously announced manufacturing in Finland by 2025.

As part of an earlier sustainability commitment, Bayer is aiming to increase access to modern contraception to 100 million women and…

Germany’s BioNTech announced Monday that it is “evaluating sustainable mRNA vaccine production capacities in Africa” for a candidate malaria shot and other vaccines.

The company said in a press release it would select promising candidates for clinical development from “multiple vaccines featuring known [m]alaria targets” (such as the circumsporozoite protein) while also evaluating new antigens. First trials are planned for year-end 2022.

In the same press release, BioNTech said…

British diagnostics developer Mologic announced Monday that it plans to transform from a for-profit company into a social enterprise through an acquisition worth at least $41 million. The Soros Economic Development Fund is leading the takeover with support from the Gates Foundation, according to Mologic’s press release.

Under a new name—Global Access Health—the firm aims to expand affordable access to medical technology in LMICs, including tests for diseases such as bilharzia, Covid-…

The Geneva-based Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) announced Tuesday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Shionogi to accelerate LMIC access to the Osaka-based drugmaker’s antibiotic cefiderocol (Fetroja).

The collaboration will help introduce the drug—indicated for bacterial infections in patients with limited treatment options—into health systems and provide clinical guidance to…

The Access to Medicine (AtM) Foundation released a new report last week highlighting some biotechs that are finding novel ways to get badly needed antibiotics to patients in low- and middle-income countries despite notoriously difficult market conditions.

Drawing on “new data and discussions with stakeholders,” the report said that small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs) now account for 75% of all late-stage antimicrobials in the R&D pipeline, with many large companies having…

Bayer announced last week that it is investing a total of $303 million to build a new pharmaceutical facility and modernize an existing plant, both in Finland.

The expansion will help Bayer meet its goal of providing 100 million women in low- and middle-income countries with access to family planning and modern contraception by the end of 2030, the press release said.