Merck KGaA has been turning to emerging markets to deliver a much-needed boost to business, targeting China and Latin America as areas ripe for growth. Now the German pharma is turning its sails toward Africa, planning to expand its presence on the continent over the next 5 years as part of its comeback story.
PRA Health Sciences is moving into a bigger space in Singapore, consolidating its operations there and looking to boost its share of the growing market for clinical research in Asia.
Almost one million childhood deaths are attributed to pneumonia annually, leading UNICEF to issue a call in 2011 for product innovation to create a respiratory monitor. Now, Royal Philips is almost ready to launch its Children's Automated Respiration Monitor that is designed to address those needs.
Ameera Shah is founder of India's Metropolis Healthcare, a diagnostics company focused on that fast-growing economy, as well as some African countries.
Five years after the affordable meningitis jab, MenAfriVac, was introduced in Africa's "meningitis belt," it has nearly eliminated the disease on the continent, the World Health Organization and PATH announced on Tuesday. But scientists are warning against overconfidence, predicting that meningitis could bounce back if immunization efforts let up now.
Takeda wants to join the likes of India's Hilleman Labs and Serum Institute and grab a piece of the low-cost vaccine pie. The Japanese pharma closed a €3 million ($3.3 million) equity investment in Belgium-based Univercell to use the latter's technology with vaccines in Takeda's pipeline to produce affordable vaccines for developing countries.
In South Africa, 40% of the national budget for vaccines is used to import Pfizer's Prevenar 13, according to Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. To ease this burden, Pfizer and South Africa's Biovac Institute are entering a 5-year partnership to produce the vaccine domestically, Reuters reported.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) often has a bone to pick with Big Pharma, especially when it comes to the industry's patents on expensive life-extending meds. As part of its latest tirade, the group is urging the South African government to override a patent for AbbVie's HIV drug, Aluvia, after shortages of the med cropped up in the country.
AstraZeneca has laid out a host of new manufacturing projects in recent months, including new biologics plants in Europe and the U.S. But while those projects are in the works, it has a new tablet plant in Russia that has just gone online.
If Big Pharma didn't already have enough to worry about, with patent cliffs, drug price investigations and reluctant payers, it now will have to face the onslaught of a large, well-funded company trying to create hybrid pharma and food products company that would treat conditions from stomach disorders to Alzheimer's disease.