Mar 30, 2017 Last Updated 9:01 AM, Mar 30, 2017

Remgro acquires 29.9% stake in Spire Healthcare

ABN – Remgro has announced plans to acquire a 29.9% shareholding price in Spire Healthcare for £432 million (US$689.5 million).

Remgro is a major shareholder in the South Africa-based private hospital group Mediclinic, who then intends to acquire the holding from Remgro.

Mediclinic and Remgro have confirmed that they do not intend to take over the whole of Spire.

Spire CEO Robert Roger said: "We welcome Remgro, and in due course Mediclinic, as a new long term shareholder in our business.

“This is an exceptional opportunity for us to gain a strategic investor who understands our business and growth ambitions as we develop our asset base to meet the significant capacity growth we expect for the UK private healthcare sector in the medium to long term and we look forward to working with them to explore ways our two businesses can co-operate to serve both our patients and our shareholders even more effectively."


New antimalarial compound to treat disease

ABN – According to a study published in Nature, a new antimalarial compound may be capable of treating current infections while also protecting against future ones.

Only one dose of the compound is needed to fight malaria infections and increase the patients’ immunity against the parasite.

One of the leaders of the Study Kevin Read, a researcher at the University of Dundee, said: "The compound interferes with some of the machinery involved in protein synthesis in the parasite at different stages of its life cycle."

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine head Colin Sutherland added: "The chemical compound of this potential drug is different from any other antimalarial compound in that it interacts at many different stages of the parasite life cycle.

"It is absolutely crucial that new compounds such as this one are coming through the pipeline.

"There is a lot of work to be done before this can be formulated into a usable drug - and it still may fail at some stage - but this initial preclinical work is very encouraging."

The compound, currently named DDD107498, stays active in the body for a very long time therefore protecting patients against any future infections.

It was discovered in 2010 but it is not expected to become available until at least 2020.


South Africa spends $1.8bn on obesity treatment

ABN – Over the last nine years the South African government has reportedly spent more than R23 billion (US$1.8 billion) on the prevention and treatment of illnesses associated with obesity.

Medical experts have predicted that this number will continue to rise and could eventually result in the sinking of the country’s healthcare system.

Over 7 million people are thought to be suffering from hypertension and a further 3.5 million have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Half of all the reported cases are linked to obesity.

South Africa has the highest rate of obesity in the region and is in the top 10 of the most obese countries in the world.

Professor Karen Hofman of the Wits School of Public Health said: “Very soon, the burden of obesity will overtake HIV.”

Professor Andre Kengne, director of the non-communicable diseases research unit at the Medical Research Council, added: “Projections suggest that in the next few decades non-communicable diseases will overtake infectious diseases as the main cause of suffering and death in developing countries, including South Africa.

“One major implication of this is that the healthcare system has to undergo a complete transformation to cope with the demand for care for non-communicable diseases, which is not necessarily similar to the demand for care for infectious diseases.

“The primary care system in particular, which is the first point of contact for the population within the healthcare system has to be better equipped and staffed to handle the growing number of people with non-communicable diseases.”


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