Investors contribute $ 250 million to new African pharmaceutical fund

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 17 (Reuters) – A group of three founding investors is contributing $ 250 million into a new fund to acquire and build biopharmaceutical companies across Africa that will improve the continent’s access to affordable medicines, they said. declared Tuesday.

Africa’s pharmaceutical industry is tiny, and African governments’ struggles to procure life-saving commodities during the coronavirus pandemic have exposed their dependence on imported drugs and medical equipment.

The group’s initial investment funded the acquisition and combination of Egyptian generic drug maker Adwia Pharmaceuticals and Celon Laboratories, an Indian oncology and intensive care specialist.

The fund aims to use manufacturing and research facilities in India to strengthen local manufacturing in Africa and “improve the supply of essential and affordable generic specialty pharmaceuticals” in Africa, he said in a statement.

The founding investors are private equity firm Development Partners International, UK-based impact investor CDC Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

“The African pharmaceutical industry remains chronically underdeveloped, with more than 80% of prescription and over-the-counter drugs imported from outside Africa,” said Abhinav Sinha, director and head of manufacturing at CDC.

“This platform is being built to specifically address the challenges facing African healthcare providers.

An additional fundraising expected of up to $ 500 million will finance a “strong pipeline of acquisitions, help the development of new drugs and the establishment of new distribution channels,” he said.

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