Aspen hosted President Cyril Ramaphosa and an accompanying government delegation at its flagship manufacturing site in Gbererha in the Eastern Cape on March 29. Aspen has invested in excess of R3.0 billion at this sterile manufacturing site, the single largest investment in the pharmaceutical industry in South Africa. The new sterile facility contains high-technology, state-of-the-art pharmaceutical equipment and systems that will be used to manufacture advanced sterile medicines, including vaccines.
As South Africa and the world grapples with the management of the COVID pandemic, this strategic investment will materially contribute to the management of this pandemic. Through the collaboration announced between Aspen and Johnson & Johnson, Aspen is the only manufacturing site on the African continent and in the southern hemisphere selected by Johnson & Johnson to compound, fill, finish and package the Janssen (a Johnson & Johnson company) COVID-19 vaccine. Aspen and Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to Africa is further underpinned by continued collaboration to enhance the amount of vaccines produced at this facility, with most of the production serving the needs of Africans. We are very proud and grateful to have the opportunity to partner with one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced healthcare companies who has committed to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. This has been demonstrated through their actions and was fundamental in our considerations of which company to partner.
Addressing delegates at Aspen’s sterile facility in Gqeberha, H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “We are here to see how we can save lives. I am pleased to inform you that Johnson & Johnson has agreed to make 250 million vaccines available to Africa with 30 million for South Africans. Coming here to this facility in Gqeberha has been an honour. Aspen belongs to us as South Africans and it is making life saving vaccines and we as South Africans must be in pole position to receive these vaccines and for them to be made available to the continent immediately. We are pleased of what we have seen here and the commitment of Aspen’s people. This world class facility is in another league and I congratulate Aspen on this facility to manufacture vaccines for our country and for our continent. I would also like to congratulate Aspen on living up to their promise of investing more than R3 billion in our country.”