local manufacturing

Following up on its previously announced ambitions to make mRNA vaccines in Africa, Germany’s BioNTech issued a joint communiqué last week with Institut Pasteur de Dakar and Rwanda Biomedical Centre outlining a potential—albeit “pre-contractual”—agreement.

If the deal gets formalized, BioNTech will pursue “end-to-end” manufacturing of mRNA-based malaria and tuberculosis vaccines (pending regulatory approval) in Rwanda and Senegal for supply to African Union member states, while “…

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…

Swedish CDMO Recipharm announced Tuesday that it will build a fill-finish facility in Morocco to supply vaccines and biotherapeutics in Africa by 2023. According to the press release, the Moroccan government and local banks will invest around $500 million to support the project.

FiercePharma reported that the facility will have an annual capacity of about 300 million units.

In other Recipharm news, Moderna announced last week that its Monts, France site has begun drug product…

Advocates for developing countries manufacturing their own pharmaceutical products received another boost after WHO’s annual World Health Assembly (held May 24-31) passed a resolution (led by Ethiopia) calling for strengthening local production of medical technologies.

The resolution urges WHO member states to “develop evidence-based holistic national and regional policies, financing mechanisms, strategies and plans of action and to explore appropriate mechanisms to support the…

Belgium-based biomanufacturing platform company Univercells announced Tuesday that it has signed letters of intent with two Senegal-based organizations to strengthen local vaccine manufacturing capacity. The company will work with the Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training to strengthen its R&D capabilities and create bioproduction capacity for routine immunization vaccines, and will also partner with Institut Pasteur de Dakar to rapidly establish local…

The chiefs of WHO, the UN Industrial Development Organization, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, UNAIDS, UNICEF and The Global Fund issued a joint statement May 24 committing their organizations to work together to promote local production of medicines and other health technologies in low- and middle-income countries. The statement said that in many LMICs, the capacity of local manufacturers to produce and supply quality medical products and of national regulatory authorities to…

Kenya will open its own HIV antiretroviral (ARV) factory later this year, The Guardian reported last week. The $100 million facility will be the largest ARV manufacturing facility in Africa and will supply Kenya and 23 other African countries with drugs mostly “under patent from European parent companies.”

The initiative is a partnership between the government, the Global Fund and local drug manufacturers to reduce the continent’s reliance on imports, the article said.