NIGERIA – Emzor pharmaceuticals, a leading manufacturer of medicines in Nigeria, has signed an agreement with India’s Mangalam Drugs & Organics Limited, to locally manufacture and distribute Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) for the treatment and prevention of malaria.
The arrangement includes an API technology transfer and licensing agreement which establishes a co-development basis for manufacturing APIs for the treatment of malaria which continues to be a leading cause of death on the African continent.
This will lead to the development of a world class API manufacturing facility in full compliance with international standards and the first of its kind in the sub-Saharan African region.
This agreement builds on Emzor’s commitment to reduce the prevalence of malaria in Nigeria and Africa, as well as strengthening the pharma sector in Africa.
The signed technology transfer and licensing agreement with Mangalam, a leading Indian chemical manufacturing company will provide in-house developed technology for manufacturing antimalarial Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).
As part of the agreement, Mangalam will also provide consultation and relevant designs for setting up a world class API manufacturing facility compliant with WHO standards. The initial focus will be on the development of 4 APIs: artemether, lumefantrine, sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine.
The selected APIs provide chemo-preventive combination therapies for malaria in pregnant women as well as treatment for adults and children.
Malaria remains the leading cause of death in Nigeria. According to the 2020 World Malaria Report, Nigeria had the highest number of global malaria cases (27 % of global malaria cases) in 2019 and accounted for the highest number of deaths (23 % of global malaria deaths).
Emzor is a pioneer in the Nigerian malaria space and was the first Nigerian indigenous pharmaceutical company to develop and manufacture artemether/lumefantrine, under the brand name Lokmal, launched in 2009.
Artemether/Lumefantrine is a WHO-recommended Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT). Maldox is Emzor’s brand name for its sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine (S/P) combination antimalarial.
The use of (S/P) in IPTp (intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy) has been a key contributor to the reduction of maternal (and child) mortality and the negative health impact of malaria on survivors.
Emzor is at an advanced stage in the process of submitting a dossier to WHO-prequalification for Maldox, a project supported by Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) with funding from UNITAID.
Emzor currently manufactures 19 SKUs of anti-malarial and this continued focus and strategy builds on Emzor’s strength in maternal and child health.
To ensure the successful launch of the project, Emzor is also collaborating with Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients for Africa (APIFA), a not-for-profit organization facilitating the local production of APIs in sub-Saharan Africa to address the major challenge of the lack of significant API manufacturing capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This deal is exciting for us as it provides Emzor with an opportunity to become a leader in the global fight against malaria and lends to our tireless commitment to bring affordable drugs for all,” Dr Stella Okoli, Emzor’s founder and managing director said.