Firms will help governments construct and run facilities to manufacture vaccines, biologics, and biosimilars.

GE Healthcare and M+W Group have established an alliance to help emerging nations become more self-sufficient in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals including vaccines, insulin, and biosimilars. Through the initiative, the firms will offer governments and pharma companies in relevant nations an integrated, cost-effective turnkey approach to constructing biopharmaceutical manufacturing plants. The alliance will combine GE Healthcare’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing expertise with M+W Group’s bioengineering and construction capabilities.

The need for more self-sufficiency in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals is evident, the partners point out. Estimates by the International Diabetes Federation and the Gates Foundation suggest that some 80% of diabetic patients live in low- and middle-income countries where insulin can be unaffordable and difficult to access, whereas 21% of children currently don’t have access to required vaccines, and 2.4 million children die from preventable diseases even though effective vaccines are available.  

The introduction of local, flexible manufacturing capabilities would help overcome the relative lack of sometimes cheap and lifesaving medicines accessible by vulnerable populations. “This is a big step forward in bringing better, more affordable healthcare to more people,” comments Olivier Loeillot, general manager of enterprise solutions at GE Healthcare Life Sciences. “By working together to bring an integrated offering, from financing and construction of the plant right through to training of the operational staff, we can make it much easier for governments to set up their own facilities.” 

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