SA’s Biovac seals deal to produce cholera vaccines in Africa

By AT editor - 29 November 2022 at 11:10 pm
SA’s Biovac seals deal to produce cholera vaccines in Africa

South Africa’s Biovac has announced a deal with the nonprofit International Vaccine Institute (IVI) to begin manufacturing cholera vaccines, a move that will advance the African continent’s goal of manufacturing its own vaccines.

The licensing and technology transfer deal will mean that Biovac is equipped to make oral cholera vaccines through the entire process, beginning with the antigen raw material. The first drugs for clinical trials are expected in 2024, with licensing and World Health Organization certifications in 2026.

“This is one of the remaining steps in the vaccine manufacturing value chain that is currently missing not only at Biovac but across the African vaccine manufacturing landscape,” said the South Korea-based IVI in a statement. Just 1% of all vaccines used in Africa are made there, which became a glaring concern at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The agreement comes at a time as cholera outbreaks – prompted by climate change, armed conflict and displacements – wreak havoc on fragile health systems, as observed in Pakistan, Nigeria and Malawi as recent examples.”

South Africa and Rwanda are leading the way on establishing end-to-end vaccine production facilities, with the support of WHO and other global entities. The Biovac deal with IVI is funded with R120 million ($6.9 million) from the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the first phase of the project.

Image: IVI


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