Agence France Presse (02.10.12) - Monday, February 13, 2012
Talks are underway between the Swiss drug maker Lonza and the
government of South Africa to produce HIV medicines in that
nation, where 5.6 million people are infected. "This joint
venture, named Ketlaphela ["I will survive" in the Sotho
language], will establish the first pharmaceutical plant to
manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients for
antiretroviral medicines in South Africa," said Science
Minister Naledi Pandor.
The plant will help control the price of AIDS drugs in South
Africa, which currently imports the main ingredients needed.
South Africa will invest 1.1 billion rand (US $143 million) in
the project, while Lonza will commit 500 million rand (US $65
million), said Pandor.
"Lonza's high Swiss standards, plus their superb track record
of establishing and maintaining successful commercial
operations in developing countries, make them a valuable and
desirable partner," Pandor noted.
On its website, Lonza said discussions are "still in an early
stage and nothing has been signed." But talking to media in
Cape Town, spokesperson Simon Edwards said the company is
"looking forward to a long-term involvement in this project
... and to long-term success."