Aspen Pharmacare has signed a contract with the Serum Institute of India to manufacture and sell four Aspen-branded vaccines for Africa, as it looks to make use of its almost non-working Covid-19 vaccine production lines in eastern South Africa.
Aspen has an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to package its Covid-19 vaccine into vials and in early 2022, it extended its deal to allow it to package, sell and distribute the vaccine under its own brand name Aspenovax in Africa.
But it is yet to get a single order for the Covid vaccine and its J&J orders under its earlier contract was also reducing, risking its 450-million-dose line of vaccine production.
In early August, Aspen CEO Stephen Saad and other executives told Reuters the company might consider turning on the Covid vaccine lines to manufacture anesthetics or other products.
The vaccines under a deal with Serum will include hexavalent, pneumococcal, polyvalent meningococcal, and rotavirus, Aspen said in a statement.
“Aspen SA Operations has secured a license to the enabling know-how from the Serum Institute,” it said, adding the two parties might also talk about expanding the agreement to bring in new products or new versions of products.