IFC and Neolpharma Unite Efforts to Increase Accessibility to Medicines in Low Income Population and Finance Climate Change Mitigation Projects

Mexico pharmacy medicine

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), member of the World Bank Group, will provide a US$30 million to Neolpharma, a Mexican pharmaceutical group focused on R&D, manufacturing, distribution, and commercialization of high-specialty generics for the private and public health system, to satisfy the growing demand of high-specialty medicines for the middle to low income population in the region.

The loan will finance Neolpharma’s growth plan which includes expansion of its production facilities of high-specialty products and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the most important raw material in the production of medicines.

Juan Gonzalo Flores, Country Manager of IFC México, said: “Budget constraints have increased due to the Covid-19 crisis and other macroeconomic factors.  By financing Neolpharma’s expansion plan, IFC will contribute to increase the access and affordability of high-quality medicines in Mexico and the LAC Region for the middle to low income population in important therapeutic areas such as cardiovascular, oncology, central nervous system and diabetes.”  

Efrén Ocampo, CEO for Neolpharma group said: “We are eager to collaborate with IFC in accelerating our expansion plans, while also focusing efforts towards sustainability and long-term growth. By investing on production capabilities, we aim to bring more resilience to our production supply chain. Neolpharma remains strongly committed on improving accessibility of high-quality medicines to benefit underserved populations.”

The US$30 million financing package is composed of a US$15 million loan of IFC’s own account, and a US$15 million loan from Canada-IFC Blended Climate Finance Program (BCFP). This is the first transaction of IFC in Pharmaceutical sector that includes funding from BCFP. At least US$15mn of the Loan is earmarked for climate investment. The operation will contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 11,400 tons per year and the implementation of climate change mitigation projects, such as waste heat recovery for efficient cogeneration in production sites, rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) with battery storage and green buildings certified under Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE).

Neolpharma will be one of the first EDGE certified pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Globally, 100 million people fall below the poverty line every year as a result of healthcare costs. IFC works with generic pharmaceutical companies and global medical technology companies to bring the latest standard of care to emerging markets affordably.

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Industry Groups Raise Alarm About Deteriorating U.S.-Mexico Trade Relationship

Mexico trade

27 leading food and agriculture associations have sent a letter communicating growing concerns over the rapid deterioration of the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

The letter calls attention to alarming recent developments with regard to the food and agriculture trade relationship with Mexico and urges action to address these challenges.

Together, the group of associations represent much of the food and agriculture sector that is responsible for roughly one-fifth of the country’s economic activity, directly supporting more than 23 million jobs — constituting nearly 15% of total U.S. employment.

Signers include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean AssociationCorn Refiners AssociationInternational Dairy Foods AssociationNorth American Meat InstituteNational Grain & Feed Association, and the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

The letter reads, in part:

“Mexico is one of America’s most important food and agriculture trade partners.

NAFTA has yielded strong benefits to both countries, and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) promises to build upon those gains.

“Yet, the food and agriculture trade relationship with Mexico has declined markedly, a trend USMCA’s implementation has not reversed.

“We respectfully urge your attention to this important, but quickly deteriorating, trade relationship.”

Leading concerns highlighted by the group include a ban on glyphosate and genetically modified corn, increased obstacles to dairy trade, an organic export certification requirement, a state-sponsored campaign disparaging corn sweeteners from the United States, a cessation of review and approval of biotechnology applications, implications from meat industry market access and geographical indications, a potato export ban, and a new front-of-pack labeling regulation.

These issues, along with a large number of investigations on Mexico’s fresh produce exports to the United States, hamper the competitiveness of U.S. farmers, ranchers, and other members of the food and agriculture sector.

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Mexico and Argentina Sign a Roadmap to Reactivate the Bilateral Mechanisms of the Strategic Partnership

Argentina & Mexico

As part of the official visit to Mexico of the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, a meeting was held today at the Foreign Ministry between the delegations of both countries. It was chaired by the Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Maximiliano Reyes, and Guillermo Justo Chaves, Chief of Staff to the Argentinian Foreign Minister.

During the meeting, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to invigorating the political dialogue and cooperation through the Mexico-Argentina Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which includes committees on political affairs, cooperation, and economic, trade and investment affairs. In line with the president’s instructions, a roadmap was signed to reactivate the existing institutional mechanisms ahead of the fifth SPA Council ministerial meeting in the second half of the year.

The roadmap is part of the joint statement the two presidents will sign at the end of the visit. It includes various agreements on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of common interest in forums such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC ) and the Group of Twenty.  

Regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides stressed their desire to join forces and continue their close collaboration so that the region achieves self-sufficiency in vaccine production, and so that the vaccines are considered as global common goods.

Among the topics discussed, Argentina emphasized the importance of joining forces on international humanitarian assistance in light of the potential socio-natural hazards in the region, and of increasing the exchange of information and deepening coordination on comprehensive disaster risk management, resiliency and emergency response.

On cooperation, Mexico and Argentina reaffirmed their mutual interest in holding the seventh meeting of the Joint Commission for Technical and Scientific Cooperation, which will make official the 2021-2023 cooperation program to create technical cadres and promote complementarity between institutions.

At the regional level, the two officials highlighted their areas of agreement within CELAC, of which Mexico is  president pro tempore for the second consecutive year, and they reaffirmed their commitment to continue strengthening the community by implementing Mexico’s 2021 work plan.

Lastly, Undersecretary Reyes thanked President Alberto Fernández for accepting the invitation of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to visit Mexico and to participate as a special guest in commemorating the bicentennial of the promulgation of the Plan of Iguala and Flag Day. He also thanked the Argentinian government for its willingness to participate in other historical celebrations that will take place throughout the year.

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COVID-19 Antigen Testing For Guests Now Offered Onsite At Mexico’s Velas Resorts

Covid antigen test

Mexico’s Velas Resorts now offers in-house COVID-19 antigen testing for guests. As of January 26th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all US residents traveling back to the US to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 test. Testing in accordance with the new CDC requirements is available onsite at the resort collection’s six properties, in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit, and Puerto Vallarta. For guest comfort and convenience, certified medical workers from the local affiliated hospital come to the hotels to perform the test. The COVID-19 antigen test is included in the nightly rate and results are sent by email within 24 hours.

If a traveler tests positive for COVID-19 and requests to extend a reservation at one of the hotels, Velas Resorts offers a 75% discount on its listed web rates. An extra suite is also offered for the person who received a positive result to safely and securely quarantine separate from their family or other traveling companions if they choose. Designated suites are reserved away from other guests with strict Covid protocols in place. Stay will be subject to European Plan or All-Inclusive based on the hotel’s current offering for up to 14 nights.

Velas Resorts have received the global safety stamp of approval from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) due to its state-of-the-art safety and cleanliness protocols detailed in a 15-page Stay Safe with Velas program. Sanitizing mats and booths, touchless hand sanitizing dispensers, increased cleaning and sanitation with both EPA-chemicals, and special COVID-19 training for staff are examples of protocols being implemented by the resort collection. In addition to the antigen testing, PCR testing (for Canadian residents) is also available onsite or at a local hospital. Cost and results turnaround is based on each destination.

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Vizsla Continues to Expand Panuco District With New Drill Targets for 2021

The mine

Vizsla Resources Corp. is pleased to build on the last six months of drilling success with additional surface and underground sampling results that provide new drill targets for 2021 at the Panuco silver-gold project in Mexico.

 

Sampling Highlights

Aguita Zarca

  • 3,042 g/t silver equivalent (2,090.8 g/t silver and 11.55 g/t gold) over 1.0 m true width and
  • 1,304 g/t silver equivalent (723.0 g/t silver and 6.7 g/t gold) over 1.2 m true width

El Batel

  • 456 g/t silver equivalent (263.7 g/t silver and 2.23 g/t gold) over 2.9 m true width

La Bomba

  • 368 g/t silver equivalent (315.0 g/t silver and 0.77 g/t gold) over 4.1 m true width including;
  • 958 g/t silver equivalent (892.0 g/t silver and 1.28 g/t gold) over 1.3 m true width

Huaco

  • 275 g/t silver equivalent (225.5 g/t silver and 0.67 g/t gold) over 10.5 m true width including;
  • 473 g/t silver equivalent (370.7 g/t silver and 1.34 g/t gold) over 4.0 m true width

 

“2020 has been a transformational year for Vizsla with multiple discoveries made across the Panuco district.  The Company has completed 27,400 metres up until December 5th and is focused on expanding the mineralized zones at Napoleon, Papayo, Tajitos and our new discovery at Aquita Zarca.  Material updates for these zones will be released as they become available in January 2021,” commented Vizsla President and CEO, Michael Konnert. “Vizsla has continued to discover new veins and extend sampling across the fourteen-kilometre-wide breadth of the Project and these targets will be included in our expanded 2021 drilling program.  Panuco really is a district scale opportunity with the unique advantage of having a mill providing a rapid pathway from discovery to production.”

 

Panuco Exploration Strategy

The consolidation of the entire district has provided Vizsla a number of significant advantages over early explorers of Panuco.  For the first time entire vein trends can be mapped and sampled regardless of internal claim boundaries, a coherent regional geological understanding is being formed, comparisons can be made between targets across the entire property and perhaps most importantly targets can be benchmarked and prioritized across the district.

The exploration team is divided into the surface mapping/sampling group, underground mapping/sampling group and a large drilling team.  The targets move through six stages;

  1. Identified Target – An opportunity found on maps, interpreted, or introduced by local miners   
  2. First Pass Prospecting – Visited by Vizsla geologists and preliminary samples and observations have been made
  3. Detailed Mapping – Detailed maps and systematic sampling of the target has been completed
  4. Drilling – Drilling has been completed on the target
  5. Advanced Drilling – Step-out drilling has been completed to understand broad size of target
  6. Resource Drilling – A 5-30 million ounce silver equivalent, economic orebody is considered likely and systematic drilling is in progress

Vizsla has identified 122 targets across the Panuco district and undertaken prospecting at 91 of these targets.  At each stage in the exploration process, the targets are benchmarked for size potential, grade potential and prioritized – with the largest, most economic targets advanced to the next stage of exploration.

In 2020 this has resulted in eighteen targets being drilled with five of these being at the advanced or resource drilling stage.

The methodical approach has allowed the Company to quickly achieve success in a large, poorly explored district and this process will continue to be used in 2021 as the Company aims to expand known mineralized zones and discover new orebodies at Panuco.

 

Sampling details

The Aguita Zarca vein is the northernmost splay in the greater Aquita Zarca Zone on the Cordon del Oro vein Corridor.  The vein has been mapped over 250 metres, averages 1.5 metres width, up to 3 metres at the widest point.  Recently announced drilling in the area was targeting the western end of this vein and intersected strong mineralization in the main Cordon del Oro vein and immediate hanging wall zone.  Further drilling is required towards the east where surfaces samples returned 3,042 g/t silver equivalent (2,090.8 g/t silver and 11.55 g/t gold) over 1.0 metres.

El Batel is a new vein zone identified in the far northeast of the property.  It has been mapped over 120 metres with additional strike up to 400 metres inferred from prospecting.  The vein averages 2.5 metres in width.  The vein appears to transition from lower grade when outcropping on hilltops to high grade at lower elevations where small scale mining has been undertaken.

La Bomba is an underground target on the Animas vein corridor.  The underground mine is being rehabilitated for safer access and detailed mapping and sampling has identified a 200m long zone with a 2-metre average width and up to 7 metres maximum width.  The vein appears to be open at the lowest elevations within the mine and drilling is planned to define the depth extensions of mineralization.

The Huaco extension is a northeast trending vein associated with the Cinco Senores Vein Corridor.  It was the location of ancient historical mining and has high grades at surface over 130 metres of strike.  The vein averages 5 metres of width and is up to 14 metres at the widest point.  It represents an excellent drill target along the northeast extension of ancient workings.

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