OPEN Health to acquire leading US-based life science strategy and advisory firm Acsel Health

London, U.K., Feb. 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OPEN Health, a pre-eminent global provider of scientific communications and HEOR & market access services, announced the acquisition of Acsel Health (“Acsel”), a New York-based life science strategy and advisory firm focused on commercial strategy, pricing and market access, and commercial excellence.

Acsel’s deep industry expertise, scientific rigor, and actionable analysis drives its success in providing valued partnership to life science companies. These capabilities will complement OPEN Health’s existing offering, broadening the range of services it offers to pharma and biotech companies.

Lujing Wang, Managing Partner of Acsel Health, said, “We are thrilled to join OPEN Health and to work with a wider team to solve for today’s demands and meet tomorrow’s expectations for pharma and biotech customers. With new colleagues and capabilities to partner with, we are equipped to answer the most challenging cross-disciplinary questions in life science across all key therapeutic areas.”

“Acsel is an extraordinary addition to OPEN Health. Acsel’s expert team and long-standing client relationships significantly strengthen our ability to support the commercialization of our clients’ assets and unlock access for patients.” said OPEN Health CEO, Rob Barker. “We are excited to welcome Acsel Health into the OPEN Health Group and look forward to working with our new colleagues to offer our clients innovative, scientific solutions around the globe.”

Fairmount Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to Acsel Health. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About OPEN Health

OPEN Health unites deep scientific knowledge with wide-ranging specialist expertise to unlock possibilities that improve health outcomes and patient wellbeing. Working in partnership with our clients, we embrace our different perspectives and strengths to deliver fresh thinking and solutions that make a difference. OPEN Health is a flexible global organization that solves complex healthcare challenges across HEOR and market access, medical communications and creative omnichannel campaigns. For more information on OPEN Health, visit

About Acsel Health

Acsel Health is a consulting firm that partners with renowned life science companies to guide life-changing innovations through their critical stages, from early development through market maturity. Acsel applies best-practice principles to develop and deliver highly individualized solutions to challenges across the product lifecycle for our clients. For more information on Acsel Health, visit


Candice Subero
OPEN Health

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8744608

Kruger Park warns of floods

The Kruger National Park has warned that various parts of its parks are expected to receive more rain this week, starting from today.

This has led to park management temporarily closing some of the remote camps and evacuating staff members to nearer, safer camps until the situation improves.

“As a precautionary measure, gravel roads and remote camps were temporarily closed yesterday, including those used to evacuate guests from Lower Sabie, Biyamiti and Crocodile Bridge out of the KNP.

“Closures are necessary to ensure everybody’s safety during this time and we would like to advise guests to stick to the tar roads whilst driving inside the Park. A disaster management team is in motion and periodical updates will be released until the situation improves,” said the KNP Managing Executive, Oscar Mthimkhulu.

Mthimkhulu said tar roads are open, although the teams had to temporarily close some of them for a short period on Sunday (route between Pretoriuskop and Skukuza, as well as the one between Malelane and Skukuza) for guests safety.

The roads were reopened as soon as flash floods stopped. Skukuza Airport is operating but passengers are advised to contact their lodges to get information before flying to Skukuza.

The airport is currently processing passengers to and from the airport via Shelati Bridge and all transfer companies, lodge representatives, car hire should pick up and drop off in the Skukuza Day Visitors Site, which is adjacent to the train/bridge, because the Sabie low level bridge is currently flooded.

The status of camps and roads in the Park is as follows:

– Gravel roads in the South remain closed.

– All tar roads in the Park are open; except the main road between Skukuza and Lower Sabie.

– Talamati Bush Camp is closed.

– Balule is closed.

– Biyamiti Bush Camp closed.

– Sable Hide closed.

– Shimuwini, Bateleur and Sirheni Bush Camps open.

– All Rest Camps are operational except Crocodile Bridge and Lower Sabie.

– All Entrance Gates except Crocodile Bridge are open.

“Honorary Rangers and KNP roads teams continue to clear debris on the bridges and anywhere else when necessary. We advise guests to avoid all roads with ‘No Entry’ signs or which are blocked with other objects,” Mthimkhulu said.

Visitors are urged to enquire or send communication-related to the rainfall to contact KNP’s Emergency Centre Numbers on 013 735 0197/4325 or 076 801 9679.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SAWS warns of possible flooding

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned that persistent and heavy downpours are expected to continue, especially over the lowveld and along the escarpment areas of both Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

“These areas have seen significant rainfall amounts the last few days and further severe impacts may occur, especially over the Mopani and Vhembe Districts of Limpopo until at least Tuesday, 14 February 2023,” SAWS said on Monday.

This will result in prolonged strain on disaster management and emergency personnel.

“Current high-resolution numerical models suggest further 24-hour rainfall accumulations of 100 to 200 mm, especially along the escarpment of Limpopo on Monday and Tuesday.

“Other areas in Limpopo and Mpumalanga will also see showery conditions, which may result in flooding because soil moisture content is high, and catchment and river systems are full,” SAWS said.

The easterly wave is expected to continue influencing the north-eastern regions of the country until 14 February 2023 over the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga with the surface trough over the western interior continuing to create a convergence zone east of the country.

There is a high chance of thunderstorms developing over Gauteng and eastern parts of the North West province, which will bring about heavy rainfall with an impact of flooding expected on 15 February 2023.

“The easterly wave is expected to subside from 14 February 2023 in the evening with the intensity of prolonged rainfall gradually tailing off. However, scattered to widespread showers and thunderstorms are still expected for the remainder of the week for a large portion of the country,” SAWS said.

SAWS will continue to monitor any further developments relating to these weather systems and will issue subsequent updates as required.

During the latter half of last week and continuing through the past weekend, a slow-moving upper-air cut-off low-pressure system lingered over the interior, causing widespread and often heavy rain over the eastern and north-eastern provinces.

“This extreme rainfall resulted in widespread flooding, with major rivers (especially those transiting the Kruger National Park and lowveld) now being in full flood since the beginning of the weekend.

“The escarpment and lowveld regions of the Limpopo province and particularly the Mpumalanga province have borne the brunt of the flooding, with the southern half of the Kruger National Park particularly affected.

“Many low-water bridges and causeways (including the Crocodile bridge and the causeway at Lower Sabie camp) are flooded, while numerous main roads, including the main road linking Skukuza to Lower Sabie are closed due to flood damage,” SAWS said.

Moreover, the presence of an additional low-pressure system over southern Mozambique and northern KwaZulu-Natal significantly elevated the risk of flooding along the KZN coastline for Saturday night, prompting SAWS to broaden the Orange Level 9 Impact-Based warnings to include a significant portion of eastern KZN.

The public has been urged and encouraged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio.

Updated information in this regard will regularly be available at as well as via the SA Weather Service Twitter.

Source: South African Government News Agency

President condemns targeting of KZN Premier’s family

President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the intimidation of KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube and her family in their private home by alleged protesters.

In a statement on Monday, the President welcomed the current investigation into the incident in which a group of people made their way to the Premier’s private home under cover of darkness to intimidate the Premier and her family.

President Ramaphosa has wished the Premier and her family well in the aftermath of this harassment, and condemned this action in the strongest terms.

The President said the country must condemn and resist any and all attempts by anyone to render society lawless and chaotic.

“The Bill of Rights in our Constitution affirms that everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected, as well as the right to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources.

“These rights apply to each and every citizen, including elected leadership or public officials, who choose to serve our nation, and their families.

“These rights must be respected even when people have legitimate issues to raise, and such issues must be raised through the channels that exist within our open democracy,” the President said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Licence to raise Tzaneen dam wall issued

A licence to enable the construction work to extend Tzaneen Dam wall as a dam with safety risk, has been issued, the Department of Water and Sanitation announced on Monday.

The department said the project is aimed at augmenting the water supply in the Greater Letaba River Catchment of the Limpopo Province, by raising the dam wall by three meters, to increase the yield of the dam to address water shortages.

“This will then result in an increase in the gross storage capacity from 157 million m3 (cubic meter) to 195 million m3. This project is set to largely benefit the agricultural sector, as it will make water available for the establishment of resource-poor farmers in the irrigated agriculture sector around the area,” the department said in a statement.

The Tzaneen Dam spillway was partially demolished in 2016 to allow the new spillway configuration in the form of a labyrinth type to be constructed.

The scope of the work includes the demolition of the top of the existing spillway, the construction of a labyrinth spillway and other minor works.

The department said the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has been appointed as the implementing agent, and the construction of the wall is expected to commence in March 2023 and be completed in March 2025.

To date, the department said, the demolition of the original spillway has been completed, and this accounts for 10% project progress.

“Upon construction completion, Tzaneen Dam will be a 53,3 m high Category III dam. A Category III dam classification is the highest hazard rating by the Dam Safety Office, considering the size and the potential for loss of life in the unlikely event of a catastrophic failure of the dam,” the department highlighted.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SA defence sector companies to exhibit at IDEX

Eleven South African companies that operate in the defence sector will participate in the International Defence Exhibition and conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The participation of the companies in IDEX has been made possible by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme to showcase their products at the 16th biennial event.

The companies will participate in the event from 20-24 February 2023.

The aim of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

IDEX is the only international trade show in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region showcasing the latest technologies in land, sea and air sectors of defence.

The 15th edition of IDEX held in 2021, brought together more than 62 000 visitors and 900 exhibitors from almost 60 countries.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Nomalungelo Gina, IDEX provides a platform and an opportunity to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments and businesses in the Middle East.

“The South African aerospace and defence companies that we will be assisting to participate in IDEX 2023 manufacture a range of products related to the defence industry.

“This is part of our efforts to support the recovery and further development of the defence industry in South Africa through assisting companies to access international markets. The show will provide the South African companies with an opportunity to sign new deals, explore new partnerships and stay up-to-date with the latest market trends,” Gina said on Monday.

The companies will also be in a good location to attract potential buyers, distributors and agents. They will also be able to gather trade leads, as well as trade and investment market intelligence in order to increase their knowledge of the UAE market.

“The Middle East has increased its military spending over the past decade, making it a strategic and important market for South Africa’s defence products and services.

“The UAE is key to South Africa’s export strategy in the region, representing 78.5% (R33.9 billion) of total exports to the Middle East region in 2021. Our bilateral trade increased by 38.11% to reach R61.71 billion in 2021, from R44.68 billion in 2020.

“The market access support provided to the 11 firms and the greater industry will contribute to increasing the market share in a high-growth market such as the UAE,” explains Gina.

She notes that IDEX 2023 provides an important platform to highlight South Africa’s strong manufacturing and technological capability of the defence industry, whilst increasing value-added exports to the UAE, Middle East region and globally.

The dtic seeks to support local South African manufacturers through participation at the event, and to contribute to a competitive export industry, which is a key focus area of the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

Gina is hopeful that the participation of local companies in IDEX 2023 will result in the increase of South Africa’s exports to the UAE and create an awareness of South Africa as a strategic trade partner and competitive investment destination.

Source: South African Government News Agency