Egypt’s PM, Health Min. review drug makers’ efforts amid coronavirus crisis, ways to boost industry



Mon, 27 Jul 2020 - 05:15 GMT


Mon, 27 Jul 2020 - 05:15 GMT

CAIRO – 27 July 2020: Drug makers managed to bring to Egypt some medicine that helps treat coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, in order to be manufactured in the country, Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Monday, in a meeting with the prime minister.


The meeting was attended by many officials, including the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar.


This comes few weeks after Egypt’s 23-year old drug manufacturer Eva Pharma announced starting producing antiviral Remdesivir as the first expected therapy for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Reuters reported.


Producing the Ebola drug, Remdesivir, Eva Pharma becomes the first licensed manufacturer of this treatment in the African continent. The company said earlier in June it received a license from the US-based Gilead Sciences, which made Remdesivir, to start production and distribution to 127 countries.


Eva Pharma will produce 500,000 doses of the drug per month to be sold locally, general manager Amgad Talaat said, adding that it will cost less than LE 2,000 ($124.07) each. The drug was sent to quarantine hospitals, Talaat added.


During the Monday meeting, Prime Minister Mustafa MAdbouli urged officials to follow up on global attempts to develop a coronavirus vaccine and to coordinate to ensure an appropriate share of this vaccine for the northeastern African country, an official statement read.


He noted that accelerating the development of drug industry in Egypt has become “urgent”.


Madbouli also affirmed the necessity to make sure all hospitals and pharmacies nationwide have the necessary drugs, adding that drug makers will be invited in a meeting to listen to their opinions, suggestions and complaints concerning drug industry in Egypt.


The Egyptian Drug Authority earlier announced signing a deal with AstraZeneca to supply the country with the Oxford University's vaccine for COVID-19 without disclosing the number of doses or the delivery date.


Ahmed Salman, the only Egyptian researcher in the team working on the vaccine at Oxford University, said in a phone-in with TV anchor Amr Adib on June 13 that the vaccine is being experimented on a larger number of humans.


Salman explained that the vaccine consists of a version of coronavirus that infects chimpanzees. The virus ability to reproduce is disabled before injected into humans so as the body becomes ready to destroy COVID-19 when infected.



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