SOUTH AFRICA – The H3D Foundation and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations have forged a three-year partnership aimed at bolstering drug development for the African continent.
The partnership aims to strengthen drug discovery and development in Africa by scaling existing initiatives and identifying new development opportunities for young and mid-career scientists in the region.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted concerns over the state of disease control in Africa. According to H3D-F, a foundation established to reduce barriers for health innovation and actively support African researchers and centers within the field of drug discovery and related sciences.
H3D-F says the continent is primed for progress but requires an integrated health innovation ecosystem, investment in robust infrastructure, technology platforms, a critical mass of skilled talent, and job creation.
The University of Cape Town Holistic Drug Discovery & Development (H3D) centre is the only integrated drug discovery and development platform in Africa. Over the last 10 years, it has proven itself as a platform to develop world class infrastructure, talent, and health innovation that will contribute to improving lives not only in Africa, but all over the world.
“We are ready to take our work to the next level through partnership and collaboration with key organizations like IFPMA, strengthening capacity far beyond H3D,” said Kelly Chibale, Chairman and CEO of H3D-F and Founder and Director of H3D.
Africa now claims more than 250 research sites and 73 vaccine clinical trials, but there are still areas of concern. For example, less than 10 universities provide vaccinology courses and only two local universities engage in vaccine-related pre-clinical studies.
The collaboration aims to call attention to drug innovation and access in the region – key pillars to achieving the sustainable development goals and universal health coverage.
IFPMA’s role is to be an anchor partner to provide short- to mid-term support in increasing awareness of H3D-F activities to develop and strengthen the capacity of human resources for health innovation in Africa.
It will facilitate networking and visibility across the innovation ecosystem through its membership and offer opportunities for collaboration from drug development to market. Shared aims of the organizations are to call attention to drug innovation and access in the region – key pillars to achieving the sustainable development goals and universal health coverage.
“Global product development research, driven by local needs, is pivotal to achieving shared global goals,” said Greg Perry, Assistant Director General of IFPMA.
“Some of our partners, including Johnson and Johnson, MSD, and Novartis, already work with H3D. With H3D-F, now is the time to forge long-term relationships that lay the foundation for scientific coordination, communication, and discovery in Africa. IFPMA is proud to support H3D-F’s efforts,” Gregory added.