New collaboration between Novartis and Africa Medical Supplies Platform to facilitate supply of COVID-19 related medicines

NovartisNovartis and the African Union (AU) through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) have announced a new collaboration to facilitate the supply of medicines from the Novartis Pandemic Response Portfolio to the AU member states and Caricom countries.

The AMSP portal is an online marketplace that enables the supply of COVID-19-related critical medical equipment in Africa. It was developed under the leadership of the AU Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa and powered by Janngo, on behalf of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). The platform was also developed in partnership with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

This collaboration aims to help alleviate supply and logistical constraints by ensuring efficient and rapid access to the Pandemic Portfolio medicines to African and Caricom governments. The AU comprises 55 Member States, representing all the countries on the African continent, while 15 Caricom countries are eligible for the Pandemic Portfolio.

"Our collaboration with AMSP is a continuation of our efforts at Novartis to combat COVID-19 across the world," said Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis. "Together, we are aiming to accelerate and expand access to affordable essential medicines in Africa to meet the very urgent patient needs across the continent as it continues battling this pandemic."

AMSP was developed to ease the difficulties and open up the medical supplies market to Africa, and as part of the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) of Africa CDC. It integrates African and globally vetted medical suppliers to ensure cost-effectiveness and transparency in the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 related supplies.

"Following the successful listing of test kits, personal protective equipment, and clinical management devices, the African Union Chairperson has expanded our mandate to include groundbreaking medicines to treat COVID-19 patients in Africa," said African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa. "As a global pharmaceutical leader, Novartis is a strategic partner for AMSP to unlock access to the latest and best-performing medicines for Africans in an affordable way."

Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its spread worldwide, there was a shortage of diagnostics, medical supplies and essential medical equipment such as personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, face masks, ventilators, and many others. Many African governments had severe challenges with the procurement of essential supplies to support their response activities and face stiff competition with the more industrialized countries for the limited available supplies.

"As a continental body, we are working with several partners to ensure smooth and predictable access to essential medical supplies," said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC. "We found that during the Ebola outbreak in 2014, many people died because of Ebola but not due to Ebola. This is because they did not have access to essential medicines needed for treatment. With AMSP, countries don’t have to search the market for supplies. The prices are negotiated and fixed to unlock the supply space."

The Novartis Pandemic Response Portfolio from Sandoz, the generics and biosimilar division of Novartis, comprises 15 medicines: Amoxicillin, Ceftriaxone, Clarithromycin, Colchicine, Dexamethasone, Dobutamine, Fluconazole, Heparin, Levofloxacin, Loperamide, Pantoprazole, Prednisone, Prednisolone, Salbutamol, Vancomycin. The portfolio was launched in July 2020 and sells medicines at zero-profit to governments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other institutional customers in up to 79 eligible countries to address the urgent unmet needs of low-and lower-middle-income countries for medicines to be used for symptomatic treatment at various stages of COVID-19. Eligible countries must be included on the World Bank's list of LICs & LMICs(1).

About Novartis

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world.

About AMSP

The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) is a non-profit initiative launched by the African Union as an immediate, integrated and practical response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The online platform was developed under the leadership of the African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa and powered by Janngo on behalf of the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and in partnership with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) with the support of leading African & international Institutions, Foundations & Corporations as well as Governments of China, Canada & France.

About Janngo

Janngo builds, grows and invests in pan-African digital champions with proven business models and inclusive social impact. It builds digital ecosystems in high growth sectors by providing business support and digital platforms allowing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to scale and contribute to the economic empowerment of youth and women through job creation and capacity building.

About Africa CDC

Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes.

1. https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups

Most Popular Now

Lilly and Lycia Therapeutics enter into strategic …

Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and Lycia Therapeutics, Inc. today announced a multi-year research collaboration and licensing agreement focused on the discovery, devel...

SK bioscience and GSK start Phase 3 trial of adjuv…

SK bioscience (SK) and GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) today announced the initiation of a Phase 3 clinical study of SK's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, GBP510, in combination wit...

Blood vessels produce growth factor that promotes …

Blood vessels supply tumors with nutrients and, on the other hand, enable cancer cells to spread throughout the body. The settlement of circulating tumor cells in a dista...

No serious health effects linked to mRNA COVID-19 …

Federal and Kaiser Permanente researchers combing the health records of 6.2 million patients found no serious health effects that could be linked to the 2 mRNA COVID-19 v...

New study examines 'Achilles heel' of cancer tumou…

Researchers at the University of British Columbia's faculty of medicine and BC Cancer Research Institute have uncovered a weakness in a key enzyme that solid tumour cance...

AI algorithm solves structural biology challenges

Determining the 3D shapes of biological molecules is one of the hardest problems in modern biology and medical discovery. Companies and research institutions often spend ...

First-in-human clinical trial for a vaccine to tre…

The first patients have been enrolled in a phase 1 randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial to study a therapeutic vaccine for opioid use disorder developed by resear...

A drug costing less than €2 a day helps in the tre…

Metoprolol, a drug widely used to treat cardiovascular disease, is beneficial when administered to COVID-19patients. This is the finding of a study by investigators at th...

Rheumatoid arthritis treated with implanted cells …

With a goal of developing rheumatoid arthritis therapies with minimal side effects, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have genetically ...

Sandoz strengthens pipeline by entering into agree…

Sandoz, a Novartis division, today announced that it has entered into a commercialization agreement with Bio-Thera Solutions, Ltd. for biosimilar bevacizumab (BAT1706). B...

Pfizer and BioNTech submit a variation to EMA with…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced that they submitted a variation to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) requesting to update the Condition...

One in three Americans had COVID-19 by the end of …

A new study published in the journal Nature estimates that 103 million Americans, or 31 percent of the U.S. population, had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 by the end of 20...