This comes in line of several strategic moves made by Novartis to solidify its leading position in the emerging field of cell and gene therapy. While its journey began with bagging the first FDA approval for cell therapy Kymriah, prior to the Avexis deal, earlier this year, Novartis also closed an exclusive ex-US worldwide licensing agreement with Spark Therapeutics for Luxturna, the only approved product that delivers a gene RPE65 into a patient’s retinal cells, in turn to produce a protein to restore vision loss.
Similar offshore investment in vaccine expansion was announced by Merck earlier this month. Merck has development plans for vaccine manufacturing plant in Ghana making it the first country in sub –Saharan African region to be equipped with a human vaccine facility. This initiative is an important stepping stone in this part of the world which despite high volume-requirements, remain entirely import dependent for vaccines. In the context that vaccine manufacturing capacity today is largely concentrated in a handful of countries, this is a positive move, as high incumbent capacity is beneficial to the country. India is a classic example, where high indigenous vaccine success has made the country almost self-sufficient in its UIP needs and played a significant role in advancing the country to the cusp of GAVI graduation in the near future. Long term impact of Merck’s investment on the Sub-Saharan African region will depend on sustainable capacity development in the region in biologic manufacturing and catalytic impact of this announcement in attracting manufacturing investments by other vaccine companies as well.
One Health India Summit
3-4 May, 2018
Cornell Sathguru Foundation for Development (CSFD) with the support of University of Hyderabad and Indian Federation of Animal Health Companies (INFAH) convenes the first One Health India Summit that converges thought leaders across academic institutions, international organizations, policymakers, regulators and industry.
The main themes to be discussed at the summit, which are also the top issues that call attention for a unified One Health approach towards solutions in the Indian context are:
Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)
- Food Safety
- Position Paper