Cipla inks deal with Serum for South Africa vaccines

Indian drug giant Cipla and vaccinemaker Serum have partnered for a third time to provide vaccines, this time for Serum's operations in South Africa. Cipla and Serum previously worked together on vaccines in Europe and then to provide flu vaccines in India, according to a report in The Hindu newspaper.

Cipla said in a statement that the company's South African subsidiary, Cipla Medpro, signed a deal with Serum to make affordable vaccines for the local South African market and to supply the South African government.

Paul Miller, Cipla Medpro's chief executive, said in the statement that the agreement will enable Cipla Medpro to become a significant player in the market and will help address a national vaccine shortage.

Pune, India-based Serum manufactures vaccines for diseases including polio, diphtheria, tetanus, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella, and South Africa will be participating in the majority of these portfolios, according to The Hindu report.

Cipla Medpro will become the holder of all Medicines Control Council regulatory approvals such as product registrations and marketing authorizations. Cipla Medpro has exclusivity and first right of refusal of the Serum pipeline within South Africa, the company statement said.

The deal is Cipla's second in the past two months after it said in September it was buying two U.S. generics businesses in deals worth $550 million, according to a Reuters report.

- here's the story from The Hindu and one from Reuters
- and a Cipla statement (PDF)