JSE-LISTED Aspen Pharmacare has secured a €600 million (R10 billion) financing package to support the pharmaceutical firm’s operations, including the production of vaccines.
The package was financed by the International Finance Institution (IFC), French development institution Proparco, German development finance corporation DEG and the US International Development Finance Corporation. It is the largest healthcare investment and mobilisation the IFC has led globally to date.
The financing would help Aspen to refinance existing debt and strengthen the company’s balance sheet, supporting Aspen’s operations, including production of vaccines and other therapies in African and emerging markets, a statement yesterday said.
The four development finance institutions also have the objective of helping to facilitate an increase in vaccine manufacturing know-how within Africa by partnering with Aspen.
Aspen has partnered with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to compound, finish, fill and package Janssen, a J&J Covid19 vaccine, at its sterile facility in South Africa.
The group recently built a fully certified sterile injectables facility at its existing site at Gqeberha.
Stephen Saad, Aspen’s chief executive, said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to access this funding package arranged by IFC. Aspen’s teams are working tirelessly to optimise production of the J&J Covid-19 vaccine for Africa at our manufacturing site in Gqeberha, South Africa. We are actively seeking opportunities to further extend and capacitate Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing at this world-class production facility. Aspen is seeking to play a meaningful role in contributing to the delivering the majority of Africa’s needs from production sites located in Africa.”