The latest from Spanish pharma, including the Patent and Trademark Office’s warning of the importance of IP protection for medical advancements, Grifols’ expansion in Africa through a manufacturing plant in Nigeria, Almirall’s newest EMA approval, and COVID-19 vaccination updates.


Spanish Patent Office: medical advances would be “inconceivable” without patents

If the pandemic has been the context in which the rhetoric in favor of suspending the protection of patents for health technology such as vaccines have become more notorious, for José Antonio Gil Celedonio, director of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM), it is in situations of global crisis that require scientific-technological solutions, when it is more necessary than ever to explain the real inner workings of intellectual property and its need for the development of innovation.


Grifols further expands its activity in Africa with agreement to set up an intravenous solutions manufacturing plant in Nigeria

Grifols, a leading global producer of plasma-derived medicines and provider of technologies and services for hospitals, clinics and compounding centers, today announced it will establish an intravenous (IV) solutions production plant in Nigeria for Dozie and Dozie’s Pharma Nig Ltd., a leading provider of healthcare products in the country and surrounding region.

When completed in 2024 in southeast Nigeria, the manufacturing installation’s initial phase will produce as many as 5.5 million intravenous solutions bags yearly to be used in hospitals and other healthcare institutions in Nigeria and other African countries.


Almirall receives European Commission approval of an innovative topical treatment for actinic keratosis

Spain’s Almirall says it has received approval from the European Commission for Klisyri (tirbanibulin) for the topical treatment of actinic keratosis (AK) on the face or scalp in adults.

“The approval of Klisyri represents a breakthrough for actinic keratosis patients, who seek new treatments that could offer them better tolerability and short treatment duration. We have once again demonstrated Almirall’s commitment to promoting future value through innovation and differentiated therapies with the potential to make a significant difference to patients’ lives,” stated the firm’s chief executive, Gianfranco Nazzi.

The reported prevalence of AK in the European population is around 18% and its incidence is predicted to increase globally due to an aging population, increased exposure to UV radiation, and changes in UV-seeking behaviors.


Self-testing COVID-19 kits will soon be available from pharmacies across Spain

The Minister of Health has said that self-diagnostic tests for the coronavirus which are set to go on sale in pharmacies will be affordable to people in Spain and the expected price will be somewhere between six and 10 euros. This means that both expats and Spaniards will be able to get their hands on the tests at a reasonable price. It is hoped that the availability of the tests from pharmacies in Spain will help control the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Spain will no longer receive AstraZeneca vaccines

Spain will not receive or distribute more doses of AstraZeneca. According to the Ministry of Health, regions have all the necessary injections to immunise all the people who have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca.

This vaccine is only injected in the age group between 60 and 69, and 78 percent have already received both doses. In total, around one million people in their sixties still need to receive the second dose.


Spain hits milestone with over 50 percent of its population fully vaccinated against COVID

Just over half of Spain’s population has received the full course of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the health ministry. Some 24.04 million citizens, 50.7% of the national population, have received two doses of Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca, or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

But despite the steady vaccination pace on a national level, differences between regions are apparent. The Asturias region has the most advanced campaign, with 62.4% of its citizens fully vaccinated, while the Madrid region, at the bottom of the list, has vaccinated 47.5% of its population.


Spanish pharmaceutical company Zendal and IAVI partner to advance tuberculosis vaccine candidate into efficacy trials

Spanish biopharmaceutical company Biofabri and IAVI, an international nonprofit research organization focused on developing vaccines and antibodies against infectious and neglected diseases, today announced their intention to partner on efficacy trials of the tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate MTBVAC.

The candidate, designed by the Spanish researcher Dr. Carlos Martin from the University of Zaragoza, was in-licensed and is being manufactured and developed by Biofabri, a subsidiary of the Zendal Group, in collaboration with University of Zaragoza, IAVI, and Europe-based Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI).


Spanish AI medical research company proposes the creation of a large health ‘data lake’ to place Spain at the forefront of clinical research

Savana, a Spanish artificial intelligence medical research company has proposed the creation of a sanitary data lake “that guarantees a more robust, affordable, multicenter and comprehensive clinical research,” together with the Spanish entire clinical research sector.

This project, as reported by this company, proposes “the creation of an interoperable system of clinical databases, oriented to health research, obtained by processing with machine learning (ML), the electronic medical records of the different Health Services, that facilitates a more robust, affordable, multicenter and comprehensive clinical research. “