12 Dec 2022
Durban, South Africa – JSE Limited listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (“Aspen”) a global multinational specialty pharmaceutical company, announced that it will receive USD30 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (”the Gates Foundation”) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (“CEPI”) to support its capabilities to manufacture lifesaving routine and outbreak vaccines for Africa.
The new funding from CEPI and the Gates Foundation, which includes USD15 million from each organization, will support a ten-year agreement between Aspen and Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd (“Serum Institute”) that aims to expand the supply and sourcing of affordable vaccines manufactured in Africa.
Through the partnership with Serum Institute, Aspen will manufacture and distribute four routine vaccines in Africa — Pneumococcal, Rotavirus, Polyvalent Meningococcal, and Hexavalent — with technology transfer activities initiating in early 2023. In addition to supporting the technology transfer of these routine vaccines, the funding from CEPI and the Gates Foundation will help sustain regional vaccine manufacturing capacity at Aspen for potential future outbreak response, with the intention of securing early access to African-produced vaccines in the event of a future public health emergency.
Aspen Group Chief Executive
Acting Director, Africa CDC
Chief Executive Officer, CEPI
CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Over the past two decades, the increased globalization of vaccine manufacturing has generated more reliable vaccine supplies at a lower cost, helping many countries around the world reach more people with lifesaving vaccines. In Africa, however, 99% of all vaccines administered are currently imported. Because lifesaving vaccines and treatments are not available or affordable everywhere, vaccine-preventable diseases continue to have a devastating impact on the region.
Last year, 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 (“PAVM”), as well as a call for supranational funders and procurement agencies to source at least 30% of their requirements from African manufacturers. -ENDS-
Headquartered in Durban, South Africa, Aspen is a leading global specialty and branded multinational pharmaceutical company in both emerging and developed markets.
Aspen improves the health of patients in more than 115 countries through its high quality, affordable and effective healthcare solutions. The Group’s key business segments are Manufacturing and Commercial Pharmaceuticals comprising Regional Brands and Sterile Focus Brands that include anaesthetics and thrombosis products.
Aspen employs more than 9 000 people and has 69 established business operations in over 50 countries. The Group operates 23 manufacturing facilities across 15 sites and holds international manufacturing approvals from some of the most stringent global regulatory agencies. Its manufacturing capabilities are scalable to demand and cover a wide variety of product-types including steriles, oral solid dose, liquids, semi-solids, biologicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. For more information visit www.aspenpharma.com
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organizations, launched in 2017, to develop vaccines against future epidemics. Its mission is to accelerate the development of vaccines and other biologic countermeasures against epidemic and pandemic threats so they can be accessible to all people in need. Prior to COVID-19, CEPI’s work focused on developing vaccines against Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus – it has over 20 vaccine candidates against these pathogens in development. CEPI has also invested in new platform technologies for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).
CEPI has played a central role in the global response to COVID-19, supporting the development of the world’s largest portfolio of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants with a focus on speed, scale and access, as well as co-leading COVAX, the global initiative to deliver fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. CEPI is also the world’s leading funder of R&D for broadly protective coronavirus vaccines which could protect against future variants of COVID-19 as well as other coronaviruses with epidemic and pandemic potential.
CEPI has embarked upon an ambitious US$3.5bn five-year plan – called CEPI 2.0 – to dramatically reduce or even eliminate the future risk of pandemics and epidemics. Central to the plan is CEPI’s goal – supported by the G7 and G20 – to compress the time taken to develop safe, effective, globally accessible vaccines against new threats to just 100 days. Achieving this ‘100 Days Mission’ would give the world a fighting chance of containing a future outbreak before it spreads to become a global pandemic. Read the plan at endpandemics.cepi.net/
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