Feb 07, 2014
R370m shot in arm for vaccine researchBack
Cape Town|Africa|BMGF Global Health Programme|Cutting|Health|Innovation|Malaria Venture|Projects|Strategic Health Innovation Partnership|System|Technology|Testing|Africa|South Africa|Grootte Schuur Hospital|Chemical Compound|Health Solutions|Solutions|HIV|HIV/Aids|Infectious Diseases|Malaria|TB|Tuberculosis|University Of Cape Town|Infrastructure|Kelly Chibale|Salim Abdool Karim|Trevor Mundel|Yogan Pillay|Drug Discovery
The BMGF says it is funding innovative, African-led research at the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Cape Town’s Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3-D.
“South Africa has world-class researchers and the infrastructure necessary to develop the kinds of innovative health solutions needed to accelerate progress [in the fight] against TB, HIV, malaria and other infectious diseases,” said BMGF Global Health Programme president Trevor Mundel at the announcement in Cape Town late last month.
H3-D is to receive R55-million from the BMGF over a five-year period. The cutting- edge centre, in collaboration with the Medicines for Malaria Venture, recently announced the discovery of a novel chemical compound which has the potential to impact on both the control and eradication of malaria.
The MRC is to receive about R125-million from the BMGF for its Strategic Health Innovation Partnership (SHIP) unit to lead and fund world-class research aimed at developing Aids and TB vaccines.
“The MRC’s initiative to create the SHIP gives South African scientists a unique opportunity to lead the process of developing new technologies to improve health,” said MRC president Professor Salim Abdool Karim.
South African scientists have been proving themselves on the global stage. The malaria compound has garnered international interest. Testing will begin at Grootte Schuur Hospital, in Cape Town, within the next few months. The drug will be given to healthy volunteers.
H3-D founder and director Professor Kelly Chibale said the ability to test the drug in clinical trials was a significant leap.
“It’s extremely important that research is happening in Africa led by Africans. People don’t think of Africa as a source of innovation. But we need to change this. We’ve shown that we can discover drugs, develop them and test them in the system.”
H3-D is steeped in research into HIV/Aids, TB and malaria, while the SHIP intends to fund six to ten projects in the vaccine space.
“Within five years, the SHIP will have a bigger budget than the rest of the MRC,” said Karim, adding that research into infectious diseases needed big money.
“You can’t get moving in development with piddling amounts of money. You need muscle. If we want to develop even one product, we need hundreds of millions of rands to see it through to completion,” said Karim.
The two partnerships have been backed by the departments of Science and Technology and Health.
South Africa has the highest incidence of TB in the world, with 400 000 new smear-positive TB cases recorded every year, while HIV remains a problem.
“We have made great strides [in combating] HIV, but we still have a lot of new infections,” said Yogan Pillay, the deputy director- general for HIV/Aids and TB in the national Department of Health.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...