9 partners to help Biovac’s manufacturing expansion; After production promises, demand for Covid-19 tests plummets – Endpoints News

A consortium of nine partners will support the expansion of capacity at Biovac’s South African manufacturing facility to boost production of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

Biovac will raise approximately $150 million to build local capacity, with the goal of getting doses across Africa. Partners include the African Development Bank (AfDB), the CDC group, the German financial group DEG, the American Corporation for International Development Finance and the French company Proparco.

“Covid-19 has proven that a greater geographic distribution of vaccine manufacturing is much needed globally, with the African continent having the fewest vaccine manufacturers. We are delighted that the donor consortium is willing to work with Biovac to create sustainable vaccine manufacturing in Africa, not only to respond to the current pandemic, but also to much-needed routine vaccines and future pandemic vaccines,” said said Biovac Chief Financial Officer Craig Mitchell. in one declaration.

The consortium is part of the 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan for Africa, which aims to increase local production of pharmaceuticals by 70% by 2030 and vaccines by 60% by 2040. This is all part of a goal to bring Africa closer to self-sufficiency.

After production promises, demand for Covid-19 tests plummets

Just in January, as demand for home Covid-19 tests skyrocketed, US President Joe Biden announced a plan to make 1 billion Covid-19 tests available for free, doubling a pledge of 500 million. Manufacturer Abbott Laboratories has publicly warned there could be a supply shortage as the Omicron surge coupled with the US holiday has resulted in sold-out shelves and municipalities enacting free testing programs.

But now that the Omicron variant is under control, demand for home testing has plummeted. A spokesperson for CVS says CNN this the retailer has seen a sharp drop in testing, and of all free at-home testing made available, less than 300 million have been ordered.

Test makers, like Quidenl, Roche and Abbott, all of which have contracts with the White House, will continue to ramp up production, but companies fear that without a guaranteed purchase agreement there will be excess manufacturing .

Marjorie N. McClure