$30 Million Supports Developing Vaccines in Africa
A global multinational specialty pharmaceutical company announced today that it would receive USD30 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to support its capabilities to manufacture vaccines for Africa.
This is important news since 99% of all vaccines administered in Africa are currently imported.
The new funding from CEPI and the Gates Foundation will support a ten-year agreement between Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited and Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd. (SII) that aims to expand the sourcing of affordable vaccines manufactured in Africa.
SII is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and sold globally (1.5 billion doses).
Through the partnership with SII, Aspen will manufacture and distribute four routine vaccines in Africa Pneumococcal, Rotavirus, Polyvalent Meningococcal, and Hexavalent.
The technology transfer activities will initiate in early 2023.
In addition, the funding from CEPI and the Gates Foundation will help sustain regional vaccine manufacturing capacity at Aspen for potential future outbreak response to secure early access to African-produced vaccines in a future public health emergency.
Over the past two decades, the increased globalization of vaccine manufacturing has generated more reliable vaccine supplies at a lower cost, helping many countries reach more people with lifesaving vaccines.
Because lifesaving vaccines and treatments are not available or affordable everywhere, vaccine-preventable diseases continue to devastate Africa.
In 2021r, African leaders, civil society, the private sector, and organizations such as the African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control laid out a vision to expand regional manufacturing capacity, including an ambitious plan to produce 60% of the continent's vaccines locally by 2040.
And the launch of the Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing, as well as a call for supranational funders and procurement agencies to source at least 30% of their requirements from African manufacturers.
Previously, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reaffirmed the foundation's long-term commitment to Africa and to working directly with countries to support breakthrough solutions in health, agriculture, gender equality, and other critical areas.
"The big global challenges we face are persistent. But we have to remember, so are the people solving them," said Mr. Gates in a press release issued on November 17, 2022.
"Our foundation will continue to support solutions in health, agriculture, and other critical areas—and the systems to get them out of the labs and to the people who need them."
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