A selection of the latest stories from Latin American pharma, including AstraZeneca’s new COVID-19 vaccine production agreements in Mexico and Argentina, human trial approvals for other COVID-19 vaccines in Brazil, and US firm Catalent’s scale up of its Argentinian manufacturing footprint.


AstraZeneca will work with Mexico, Argentina to produce COVID-19 vaccine doses

AstraZeneca’s gung-ho effort to lock in national supply deals for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate has paid off in recent weeks with a series of expensive agreements. Now, the British drugmaker will work with Mexico and Argentina to pump up supply to Latin American countries.



Brazil regulator gives approval for human trials of J&J COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa has approved human clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson’s pharma subsidiary Janssen.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate is the fourth to be approved for human trials in Brazil, said Anvisa in a statement.



Amid COVID deal spree, Catalent plots Argentina manufacturing scale-up

Amid a slew of COVID-19 vaccine pacts, Catalent is looking to expand its manufacturing power to churn out more drugs for a wholly different set of diseases.

Set to go live in late 2021, a revamped site in Argentina will add capacity to make millions more doses of critical cancer drugs each year, bolstering supplies found on multiple country’s shelves.



Mexican President Volunteers To Try Russian COVID-19 Vaccine

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he would volunteer to be among the first to try a Russian vaccine for the novel coronavirus if it proved effective. Moscow’s decision to approve the vaccine and produce here the first batches after less than two months of human testing has raised concerns among some scientists considering only about 10% of clinical trials are successful.



Amid pandemic, Brazil’s health ministry still has an interim boss with no medical experience

Brazil is in the grips of a deadly virus, with the world’s second highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the world — and yet the health ministry continues to be run on an interim basis by an army general with no medical experience.