Igniting Drug Discovery in Africa: A Renewed Partnership

By Danélia Botes

November 30, 2023

The Power of Partnership

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and H3D Foundation have recently announced a renewed three-year phase of their partnership. The aim is to enhance the skills and capacity needed to drive increased research and development of new medicines in Africa. This partnership is crucial in addressing the imbalance of medical research in Africa, where despite 20% of the global burden of disease, only 2% of medical research focused on new infections originates.

A Boost for Africa’s Drug Discovery Ecosystem

According to Richard Amewu, Principal Investigator, Drug Innovation Group, University of Ghana, the IFPMA partnership with H3D Foundation has brought credibility to the continent, unlocking further international investment in drug discovery research and development. The continuation of this partnership will address critical gaps in research capacity, capabilities, and infrastructure, providing momentum to the African drug discovery ecosystem.

Strengthening Health Systems and Expanding Innovation

The next three years will see the partnership tackling issues such as strengthening health systems, expanding the innovation ecosystem value chain, and addressing barriers for African scientists to break new ground within the drug discovery-related sciences. As Prof Kelly Chibale, Chairman and CEO of H3D-F and Founder and Director of H3D, points out, the partnership has enabled the scaling up of initiatives and catalysed interactions with representatives from the innovative pharmaceutical industry, at both local and international levels.

A Sustainable Investment in Africa’s Health Ecosystem

Greg Perry, Assistant Director General, IFPMA, believes that attracting, developing, and nurturing scientific talent and innovation at a local level will help ensure that Africa is part of the innovation ecosystem value chain. The continued partnership with H3D Foundation is seen as a sustainable investment in Africa’s health ecosystem.

In conclusion, this collaboration between IFPMA and the H3D Foundation promises to be a great step toward positioning Africa as a worldwide participant in innovative pharmaceutical R&D. The intent is to have a long-term impact on the continent’s health ecosystem by constructing infrastructure and improving the capabilities of African scientists and researchers.

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