Pfizer to manufacture pneumonia vaccine in South Africa

By mahlokoane percy ngwato

In partnership with local biotechnology company Biovac Institute and the Department of Science and Technology, global pharmaceutical expert Pfizer is set to manufacture a pneumonia bacteria vaccine.

Within the next five years, Prevenar 13 will be manufactured at Biovac’s new commercial facility in Cape Town; this fulfils several goals laid out in the National Development Plan Vision 2030, including access to healthcare and enhancing competitiveness in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals.

Biovac CEO Biovac Dr Morena Makhoana said: “We believe that this partnership with Pfizer will strengthen our ability to deliver a potentially life-saving vaccine for South African children, as well as accelerate our technological knowledge in vaccine development."

The vaccine is effective at preventing the pneumococcal infection in children from six weeks to five years old and in adults of 50 years and older.

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South Africa’s Science Minister Naledi Pandor officially launched the initiative on the 3rd of November in the form of a PPP (public-private partnership) she said: "This demonstration of successful technology transfer with Pfizer is one of the prerequisites for unlocking future technology transfers that will see Biovac becoming the major vaccine manufacturer in Africa."

The partnership has kick-started a technology transfer from Pfizer to Biovac which will be in compliance with international Good Manufacturing Practice standards. Pfizer will also embark on a skills transfer process to equip Biovac employees to continue manufacturing the vaccines after the transfer period has elapsed.

Read the November Issue of African Business Review.

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