Vodacom, AUDA-NEPAD to roll out digital tech for Covid-19 vaccinations in Africa

AFRICA – South African mobile telecommunication company Vodacom Group, part of Vodafone Group, will work with AUDA-NEPAD to build digital infrastructure to manage vaccinations across up to 55 countries, following successful deployments in South Africa – to manage Covid-19 vaccinations – and in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Nigeria – to manage infant inoculations. According to a statement released to the media, the roll-out of mVacciNation, developed by Mezzanine, a member of the Vodacom Group, is the first project in a public-private partnership that has been formed between Vodacom Group and AUDA-NEPAD “to…

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South Africa’s pharma regulator approves Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) has granted a conditional approval for the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, a significant step in Africa’s quest to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic across the Continent. The approval comes just days after the announcement by the American pharmaceutical giant that it is set to provide up to 400 million doses of its highly effective vaccine to African countries that have continued to voice their concerns over ‘vaccine nationalism’ – or the near monopoly by more resourceful countries such…

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Medical textiles company Lamatem secures US$7m loan from EBRD and EU

MOROCCO – Lamatem, a Moroccan producer of high-‎end ‎medical garments, has secured €6 million loan (US$7.05m) from The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) to help the company increase its exports to European markets. The investment will help Lamatem to increase its supply of medical protective equipment and to offer a more diverse range of products, through the use of a state-of-the-art sterilisation machine, to local and European medical suppliers. Lamatem will also diversify its energy supply and boost the use of renewables, with…

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Biotech startup Impulse Biomedical raises funding from PE firm Futuregrowth

SOUTH AFRICA – Biomedical engineering startup Impulse Biomedical has raised funding from the Futuregrowth Development Equity Fund (DEF) to speed development and release of its flagship device. The Impulse device, the ZiBiPen, was designed by engineering graduates Gokul Nair and Giancarlo Beukes while completing their Masters’ Degrees in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The device aims to revolutionise the emergency treatment of life-threatening anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that occurs when a patient is exposed to a foreign substance such as an insect bite or certain foods.  Without…

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Healthtech startup Takestep raises seed round investment for its expansion plans

EGYPT – TakeStep, a healthtech startup, has raised an undisclosed seed round investment to expand its operations to the GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council) in the near future. The investment was from two angel investors; Dr. Mohamed Hossam Khedr, who is also joining TakeStep as Managing Partner, and another Egyptian angel investor. Founded in 2018, the company has been helping over 15,000 patients to recover, and steer clear of relapsing, through 24/7 counselling services via its patient-centric web and mobile platforms. TakeStep aims to support people struggling with substance abuse…

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J&J inks deal with African Vaccine Acquisition Trust for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

AFRICA – Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has entered into an agreement with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to make available up to 220 million doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine candidate to African Union’s 55 member states with delivery beginning in the third quarter of 2021. AVAT also has the potential to order an additional 180 million doses, for a combined total of up to 400 million doses through 2022. The availability of the vaccine candidate is subject to its…

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Healthtech startup Redbird secures US$1.5m investment for expansion to new market

GHANA – Redbird, an Accra-based healthtech startup, has secured US$1.5 million in a Seed Round of investment with participation from Johnson & Johnson Foundation and Newtown Partners via the Imperial Venture Fund. According to the startup, the funding will be used to expand Redbird’s business model, operations and to enter new markets. “We’re thrilled to work with Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures and Newtown Partners. Newtown and Imperial’s expertise in African supply chains, coupled with Johnson & Johnson’s long-standing commitment to improving care for the most vulnerable populations through technology,…

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Lancet Laboratories taps Laborex Kenya boss Mwende Musunga for CEO post

KENYA – Pathologists Lancet Kenya (PLK) has appointed Ms Mwende Musunga as its new Chief Executive Officer, replacing the retiring founding partner and the group managing director Dr Ahmed Kalebi. In a newspaper advertisement, the board of directors disclosed that  will be joining Lancet Group of Laboratories East Africa from June 1. Ms Musunga has been Laborex Kenya Ltd chief executive for the past four years. Dr Kalebi, who founded PLK in 2009 before it was acquired by French and South African partners, announced early this month that he would…

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Healthcare startup mPharma to launch Haltons Pharmacies in Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA – Ghanaian health tech startup mPharma has signed a franchise agreement with Belayab Pharmaceuticals to open Haltons Pharmacies in Ethiopia Through the agreement, mPharma will leverage its technology platforms, insights, and extensive experience working with hospitals and retail pharmacies across Africa to help Ethiopia achieve universal medical coverage to all its patients. mPharma and Belayab Pharmaceuticals aim to open two operational pharmacies in Addis Ababa this year.  mPharma Currently operates in Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Rwanda, and Kenya and serves about a million patients every year through over 300 partner pharmacies.…

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Japanese M3 Inc to invest in Africa Health Holdings Ltd to support its expansion plans

AFRICA – M3, Inc., a Tokyo-based medical Web portal, has announced that it will invest Africa Health Holdings Ltd, which operates medical facilities across Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, via its multi-stage corporate venture fund 1P1Y. Through this investment M3 will work to increase the productivity and sophistication of Africa Health’s facilities and support its expansion plans. M3 will leverage its physician platform and services related to research, clinical trials, office appointment systems, medical site operations management, telemedicine and AI diagnostic technologies to support Africa Health. Created in October 2019, the…

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