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Leveraging the power of partnerships

June 6, 2016
The world is an interconnected and interdependent place socially, economically, and environmentally. Not only is our global society becoming increasingly interconnected through the spread of technology, but we are becoming tightly intertwined both through the spread of diseases and the global partnerships established to combat them. The term neighbor has an evolving definition.

Consequently, it is important we all adapt to the changing environment and look beyond our traditional encumbrances towards emerging opportunities to share ideas and resources. Scientific research and collaboration are key to unlocking new and effective solutions to address the healthcare needs of our “neighbors” across the world.

The African continent is a promising, growing market with increasing economic development and high demand for treatments. While neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and tuberculosis remain the continent’s primary health concerns, the burden of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer has increased 57% since 1990. Unsurprisingly, with this trend, the biopharmaceutical industry is shifting its attention towards this important region.

Tapping into this market in a meaningful way requires an in-depth understanding of the continent's disease landscape, infrastructure, politics, and key players. Collaborations with local researchers, healthcare providers, and officials are crucial to developing and launching products relevant to the African market.

Recognizing the importance of partnerships with local researchers and the need to raise awareness of innovations coming out of the region, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) will be hosting the second annual Africa pavilion at the 2016 BIO International Convention. The pavilion will showcase the innovations and life science capabilities of 32 organizations from 16 African countries: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

All exhibitors are eager to discuss partnership opportunities, contribute their expertise and innovations, and play a more central role to the global development of biopharmaceutical products for Africa and the rest of the world. Exhibitors have an extensive knowledge of the diseases affecting their region, an understanding of how to put ideas into action, and a readiness to capitalize on cross-sector, trans-continental collaborations.

In addition to representation from research institutions at the pavilion, there will be regional clinical trials networks established through the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), and the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation (DMF) present. Founded by the European Commission, the EDCTP and its networks of excellence in Africa aim to support collaborative research with European organizations that augments clinical trials capacity in sub-Saharan Africa and accelerates the clinical development of products for diseases prevalent to the continent.

The DMF is dedicated to improving the health, education, and quality of life of the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). One of its main endeavors is the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, a modern hospital facility supported by a state-of-the-art emergency room, intensive care unit, pharmacy, and modern radiology department.

Whether it comes from Kinshasa, DRC or South San Francisco, the innovation, dedication, and capacity needed to address disease is the same. The Africa pavilion at the BIO International Convention is an opportunity to strengthen links with our African neighbors. It is a chance to connect expertise, assets, dedication, know-how to combat diseases burdening not only the people of Africa, but also our other neighbors from around the globe.

To learn more about the Africa pavilion and the African organizations participating in the Convention, please click here.

The Africa pavilion is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Celgene Corporation; Genentech, Inc.; Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Global Good, Intellectual Ventures; Just Biotherapeutics; Janssen, the Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson; Merck & Co., Inc.; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA); Pfizer, Inc.; Sanofi; SCYNEXIS, Inc.; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company; the US Pharmacopeial Convention; and Viamet Pharmaceuticals.