Aspen to supply 35 million COVID-19 doses to Africa from June

The COVID-19 vaccine will be packaged, sold and distributed by Aspen under the Aspenovax brand.

The South African multinational pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare will supply its own branded COVID-19 vaccine to Africa. The pharmaceutical company aims to supply 35 million does by June, stated its chief executive on Wednesday, after the company reported a 37% increase in profit for the period of June 2021 to December 2021. Aspen entered a deal with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to package, sell and distribute the J&J vaccine under the Aspenovax brand throughout Africa. The deal allows the pharmaceutical company to supply COVID-19 vaccines to Africa, which has the lowest rate of vaccinations in the world. "We will be in a position to supply 35 million vaccine doses per month by June," Stephen Saad, Aspen CEO stated, adding that a portion will be contracted to J&J.

Saad added that Aspenovax would lead to a “material jump” in the company’s earnings from next year starting July 2022. Under the terms of the deal, Aspen will only package the vaccine and will not produce the drug substance. "I think we want to see where the volumes go sustainably. If the volumes peak for a year or two and then go away, then I don't want to invest in something that has no demand in future," Saad noted. The pharmaceutical company is aiming to improve its vaccine capacity from approximately 450 million doses today to 750 million doses by February 2023. The uptake in capacity can be used to service cancer treatments or insulin which would provide the company "broad access to emerging markets", he said.