South Africa’s Aspen signs deal with J&J to sell COVID vaccines

The South African pharmaceutical company will sell and distribute the vaccines, under its own packaging, across Africa.

People wearing face masks walk past a logo of South African pharmaceutical major Aspen Pharmacare
People walk past a logo of South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare at its Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine facility in Gqeberha, South Africa [File: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters]

South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare has announced an agreement with American multinational Johnson & Johnson to package, sell and distribute the latter’s COVID-19 vaccines under its own brand in Africa.

The deal was announced on Tuesday.

Aspen had begun discussions with J&J in November for a licensing deal that would give it the freedom to sell and distribute the vaccine under its own brand.

Aspen said in a statement that the deal also allows it to “discuss the expansion of the agreement to include any new versions of the drug substance, such as those developed for new variants or a different formulation for administration as a booster.”

In a separate statement, J&J said the agreement means that Aspen can now supply the COVID-19 vaccine under the Aspenovax brand to all 55 African countries and multilateral entities supporting Africa’s vaccination plan.

The announcement comes just as J&J rival Moderna announced it had signed an agreement with Kenya to build its first mRNA facility in Africa.

Source: News Agencies