Union Numsa brings drug remdesivir to SA to treat Covid-19 patients

A subsidiary of Numsa Investment Company has partnered an Indian company to bring an anti-viral drug to SA to help treat Covid-19 patients.
A subsidiary of Numsa Investment Company has partnered an Indian company to bring an anti-viral drug to SA to help treat Covid-19 patients.
Image: NUMSA

A subsidiary of Numsa Investment Company has partnered with an Indian group listed in the US to roll out remdesivir —  an antiviral drug which has shown promise in treating Covid-19 — in SA from August.

In terms of the deal, 3Sixty Biopharmaceuticals (3Sixty Biopharma), a division of Numsa Investment Company’s subsidiary 3Sixty Global Solutions Group, has been appointed by Jubilant Generics to supply remdesivir in southern Africa. Numsa Investment Company invests on behalf of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa).

Jubilant Generics is a subsidiary of the Indian company Jubilant Life Sciences.

In an interview on Monday, Numsa Investment Company CEO Khandani Msibi described the deal as a “distributorship” agreement with the Indian group.

Msibi said 3Sixty Global Solutions Group, which until now has been mainly invested in financial services, will be playing an “active operating role” as part of the effort to fight the pandemic, which has so far resulted in 276,242 South Africans being infected and more than 4,000 deaths.

“We will be active in rolling out the drug. It is part of our efforts to contribute to the fight against Covid-19. We’ve been working with a number of our local and international partners to develop and source therapeutic solutions to fight Covid-19 for SA. This is one of the first such deliveries,” said Msibi.

He said 3Sixty Global Solutions Group has diversified into biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, adding these investments were the “way of the future” as  the world will increasingly find itself fighting viral onslaughts.

“There are going to be a lot of things we are going to announce in the coming weeks on biotechnological developments, and more of our efforts in the fight against Covid in SA and the world. 3Sixty is a company to watch in the Covid space.”

In a statement released at the weekend, 3Sixty Global Solutions Group said the agreement with Jubilant was signed at a time “when the body of evidence supporting the use of remdesivir is growing”.

“Data presented at a Covid-19 conference as part of the 23rd International Aids Conference (Aids 2020: Virtual) shows promising results highlighting the safety and efficacy of this experimental treatment,” Msibi said.

He said that on May 12 2020, Jubilant Life Sciences entered into a licencing agreement with Gilead for remdesivir.  

“The first shipment of remdesivir arrives in the country in August, and there has been strong interest registered by private sector operators.”

3Sixty Global Solutions Group said “engagement” with the state had also begun and “we expect the state to show strong interest in the drug to save our people’s lives”.

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