Britain clears way for AstraZeneca takeover of Alexion
By Gistflash News
July 14, 2021
Coronavirus vaccine maker, AstraZeneca, has been given the all-clear by the UK competition watchdog to go ahead with its 39-billion-dollar mega deal to buy U.S. drug company Alexion Pharmaceuticals.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had decided not to refer the acquisition for an in-depth investigation, paving the way for the deal to close on July 21.
The CMA said in May that it was looking into whether Cambridge-based AstraZeneca’s acquisition of Alexion could harm competition in the UK.
AstraZeneca agreed to buy Boston-based Alexion for 175 dollars a share in December, marking the drug giant’s biggest acquisition, in a move to boost its expertise in immunology and rare diseases.
The cash-and-shares deal was approved by shareholders in May and had already been given clearance in 10 countries, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, before the CMA decision.
Marc Dunoyer, the executive director and chief financial officer of AstraZeneca, said “we are very pleased to have secured this critical final clearance from the UK Competition and Markets Authority for the acquisition of Alexion.
“We look forward to the imminent closing of the transaction so that we may pursue our shared ambition to bring more innovative medicines to patients worldwide and begin AstraZeneca’s next chapter of growth.”
Following the deal’s completion, AstraZeneca would create a group focused on rare diseases called Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, which would have its headquarters in Boston in the U.S.
It is a milestone for AstraZeneca, which has developed the COVID-19 jab together with Oxford University and would diversify the group, adding to its fast-growing cancer treatment business.
According to the group, the rare diseases sector represents a “high-growth opportunity with rapid innovation and significant unmet medical needs.”
More than 7,000 rare diseases are known today and only around 5 per cent have treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to AstraZeneca.
It forecasts that demand in medicines for rare diseases will grow by a low double-digit percentage going forwards.
FG converts National Blood Service to commission
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The Federal Government has established the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) to replace the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services.
This is contained in a statement by Abdullahi Haruna, the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity on Saturday, in Abuja.
It explained that the NBTS was formerly a unit under the Department of Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, which was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It also disclosed that Dr Omale Joseph-Amedu, the National Coordinator, would serve as the Acting Director-General of the commission in line with the provisions of the Act establishing the commission.
“Commission which has the statutory mandate to coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of safe, quality blood transfusion services on a country- wide basis within the national health plan.
“Therefore, the commission is legally mandated to ensure proper compliance with the National Blood Service Guidelines and standards.
“It will also maintain a system of quality assurance at all levels of service, encourage research in all aspects of blood transfusion services and promote the rational use of blood, blood products and alternatives to blood where appropriate.
“The commission which takes effect immediately as National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has communicated that its new name and status more aptly reflects the mandate of ensuring the availability of safe, quality and adequate blood services to all Nigerians,” it stated
UK donates 1.2m COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria – Envoy
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
COVID-19: 4, 680,000 Nigerians vaccinated – NPHCDA
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says 4,680,000 Nigerians have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 .
The Executive Director /Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during the South South zonal town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the town hall meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with NPHCDA and the Edo government.
Shuaib noted that out of the 4,680,000 million vaccinated Nigerians, about 1,865,127 were fully vaccinated with the two doses.
He stated that the figure was below the nation’s target ,adding that the threats posed by the virus could prevent the country from returning to normal living.
“I will like to encourage us to use our good offices to encourage eligible members of our community to visit the nearest designated health facility to receive the vaccine.
“All the vaccines are currently available in designated vaccination sites across the country and are safe and effective,” he said.
According to him, in the course of the next few weeks, NPHCDA plans to gradually involve the private sector as sites for COVID-19 vaccination.
Shuaib, however, disclosed that the Federal Government had set up a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine for monitoring and accountability in collaboration with the security agencies.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the town hall was organised to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, address mutual concerns and reach a consensus to ensure citizens were safe and protected against the deadly coronavirus.
Ehanire, said Nigeria had so far lost 2000 of her citizens to COVID-19, adding that the virus had also affected the nation’s GDP.
According to him ,the government needs to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
“The way out off this is to get vaccinated because those who have taken the vaccine have full protection while the unvaccinated are exposed to danger,” he said
He disclosed that the Federal Government was working with the private sector for the production of vaccine in the country.
According to the minister, records have shown that over 90 per cent of deaths recorded from COVID-19 are from unvaccinated persons.
Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki said the state had so far vaccinated over 130,000 residents against the virus.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyokha, Obaseki said the state target was to vaccinate 60 per cent of the population.
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