ROCHE, ASPEN TO LAUNCH GENERIC TAMIFLU IN AFRICA

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Swiss drugmaker Roche has reported that South African company Aspen will manufacture a generic version of its antiviral drug Tamiflu to help Africa prepare for a possible pandemic. The new agreement is nonexclusive -- meaning that Roche and other sublicensees will be able to work on pandemic orders within Africa.

"We are pleased to announce the partnership with Aspen as the latest step in our scale-up efforts to meet the needs of governments in preparing for the potential public health threat posed by avian influenza," said David Reddy, leader of Roche's pandemic task force.

Roche has previously entered into Tamiflu sublicensing agreements with companies in China and India. The company has received orders and letters of intent for Tamiflu from more than 75 governments for pandemic stockpiling.