South African Company nears License to sell J. & J. Covid Shot across Africa
The South African drug maker Aspen Pharmacare announced on Tuesday that it was finalizing the first agreement to control production of a Covid-19 vaccine in Africa. The deal, with Johnson & Johnson, would allow Aspen to bottle and market the Johnson & Johnson vaccine across Africa under the brand name Aspenovax.
Aspen would then have the right to determine to whom the vaccine will be sold, in what quantities and at what price. This agreement stops short of giving Aspen rights to produce the drug substance — that is, the actual contents of the vaccine. Instead, Johnson & Johnson will direct other facilities to make the ingredients to send to Aspen for the company to blend into vaccine doses.
Artificial intelligence-created medicine to be used on humans for first time
A drug molecule “invented” by artificial intelligence (AI) will be used in human trials in a world first for machine learning in medicine. It was created by British start-up Exscientia and Japanese pharmaceutical firm Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. The drug will be used to treat patients who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Typically, drug development takes about five years to get to trial, but the AI drug took just 12 months. Exscienta chief executive Prof Andrew Hopkins described it as a “key milestone in drug discovery”.
Novo Nordisk Foundation awards DKK 128 million for an innovation platform at Denmark’s university hospitals
Innovation should be a fully integrated part of Denmark’s healthcare system, both in cultural and operational terms, and researchers should find it worthwhile to pursue the development of new methods and solutions for improving patient care. This is the vision for a 5-year pilot project to be run by innovation centers at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and Aarhus University Hospital and with local innovation employees at Aalborg and Odense University Hospitals. The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded a grant of slightly more than DKK 128 million for the project.
Unprecedented: The Rapid Innovation Response to COVID-19 and the Role of Intellectual Property
On 26 November the new research report about the role that intellectual property played in the development, manufacturing, and global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics was launched in Geneva. The report was co-authored by Innovation Council’s very own Jennifer Brant, and Prof. Mark Schultz.
The report, along with other materials including an executive summary is available here.
Enabling AI-driven health advances without sacrificing patient privacy
There’s a lot of excitement at the intersection of artificial intelligence and health care. AI has already been used to improve disease treatment and detecIon, discover promising new drugs, identify links between genes and diseases, and more. By analyzing large datasets and finding patterns, virtually any new algorithm has the potential to help patients — AI researchers just need access to the right data to train and test those algorithms.
Using digital health to improve health outcomes and equity
The pandemic’s disruptions create a moment to fundamentally rethink health care. Rather than simply replicating in-person care virtually, how can care be transformed to deliver dramatically better outcomes for patents? Digital health can be used to improve health care results and health equity by creating better solutions for people who face challenges in access and/or in achieving better health outcomes. For instance, by adding to the efficacy and efficiency of care delivery. Providing value-based care starts with identifying the shared needs and common goals of a group of people who are not well-served by today’s care.
Slideshow: “MC12” WTO Ministerial Conference
At the WTO’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference WTO Members should agree new trade rules to support the global response to COVID-19, accelerate the economic recovery, and enhance future pandemic preparedness. WTO Members should eliminate tariffs on health products, including finished therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines, as well as the active pharmaceutical ingredients, raw materials, chemicals, other inputs and intermediaries, and specialty equipment used to invent, manufacture, and deploy these products.
Click through the IC slide show.
WHO: ACT-Accelerator partnership
Global leaders attending the US-hosted Global COVID-19 Summit on 22 September re-affirmed their commitment to ending the acute phase of the pandemic, and the goals of the ACT-Accelerator, by agreeing targets to provide equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
Global targets agreed at the Summit include vaccinating 40% of the world’s population in 2021 and 70% of the population in 2022; achieving testing rates of one per 1,000 people per day in all countries by the end of 2021; and for all facilities treating patients with severe COVID-19 to have sufficient oxygen supplies, quality-assured treatments and PPE.
UN: Covid-19 Summit: Sharing Knowledge, Technology Critical to Curb Virus
Leaders at a virtual Covid-19 summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2021, pledged to mobilize millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines and billions of dollars to “build back better”. Following the summit, the US and European Commission made public a statement to launch a “taskforce” on Covid-19 manufacturing and supply chains, which includes a commitment to coordinate initiatives to boost global production of vaccines and therapeutics.