African research institutions launch initiative to promote development of essential medicine

A researcher prepares for a test at a national key laboratory of silkworm genome biology in Southwest University, Chongqing municipality, May 31, 2017. (Photo by CFP)
(Photo by CFP)

Pan African academic and scientific research institutions on Saturday announced partnership with donors to accelerate development of drugs required to treat existing and new ailments.

The new partnership that involves Nairobi-based African Academy of Sciences (AAS), University of Cape Town, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and foundations, will focus on providing funding to local scientists to scale up development of life-saving therapies.

“Africa needs a strong cohort of drug discovery scientists to respond to the therapeutic needs of the continent,” AAS said in a statement. “The drug discovery partnership specifically seeks to provide support and strengthen infrastructure, drug discovery capacity and human resources,” it added.

African scientists will be required to submit proposals in order to qualify for funding that will cater for research on therapies that can strengthen response to infectious diseases endemic in the continent.

“The main goal of the project is to unlock additional funding and industry partnerships for the design and creation of new therapies and products for disease prevention in Africa,” said AAS.It said that building the capacity of a critical pool of local scientists will help bridge access gap on life-saving drugs in a continent grappling with a heavy disease burden.


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