Aspen to manufacture influenza medicine oseltamivir

16/05/06:

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Aspen (APN), South Africa’s largest listed pharmaceutical company, today announced that it has reached an agreement with Roche to produce a generic version of oseltamivir for Africa. This complements Roche’s continued efforts to increase and speed up availability of the medicine for world wide influenza pandemic planning. The agreement focuses on providing oseltamivir for pandemic use to further help to address the needs of governments and other not for profit organisations in the African sub – continent. Roche will provide technical know how (technical, pre-clinical and clinical data) to assist Aspen to help them expedite their production and the registration. The agreement also allows the supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) from Roche to Aspen.

Stephen Saad, Aspen Group CEO said “This agreement complement’s Aspen’s continued commitment to turning the tide against infectious diseases in Africa. The confidence placed in Aspen by Roche, a leading multinational pharmaceutical manufacturer, further endorses the international approval of Aspen’s quality manufacturing and it’s ability to provide solutions for the African continent. This product will be manufactured in Aspen’s Port Elizabeth-based Oral Solid Dose (OSD) facility which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2004.”

David Reddy, Roche’s Pandemic Taskforce Leader, commented: “We are pleased to announce the partnership with Aspen as the latest step in our scale-up efforts to meet the needs of governments in preparing for the potential public health threat posed by avian influenza. This is another demonstration of Roche’s commitment to working as a collaborative and responsible partner with governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) to assist in pandemic planning”.

Whilst Roche remains on schedule to meet all orders from African governments by early 2007, the collaboration with Aspen will further enhance the supply of oseltamivir for Africa. The agreement is non-exclusive and will mean that Roche and other sub-licensees will be able to work on pandemic orders within Africa.

About Aspen:

Aspen is Africa’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer and a major supplier of branded pharmaceutical, healthcare and nutritional products to the southern African and selected international markets. Aspen is one of the largest generics manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. Aspen is a leading global player in generic ARVs.

Aspen is one of the top 20 generic manufacturers worldwide and South Africa’s number one generic brand. Aspen has pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities located at three sites in South Africa. The Group produces a vast range of products including tablets, capsules, liquids, creams and others.

Aspen is listed on JSE Limited (JSE) and has a current market cap in excess of R15 billion.