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Cape Town: Africa’s Pharma R&D and Healthtech hub?

November 12, 2015 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

Africa’s pharmaceutical market is expected to grow to between $40 billion and $65 billion by 2020 having grown 342.5% in 10 years by 2013, due to Africa’s economic growth and expanding middle-class. With four universities and other research institutions in the Cape Town city region, research into pharmaceuticals (for TB, HIV and malaria), biopharmaceuticals (developing plant-based antibodies), nutraceuticals (from natural products and for indigenous medicine) and medical devices is growing, but could Cape Town be a hub for Africa with the right incentives and support?

In 2000, Singapore launched their Biomedical Science Initiative to create a vibrant biomedical sciences ecosystem. By 2011, Singapore had attracted more than 30 of the world’s leading biomedical sciences companies, and grew the sector by 30%. The Department of Science and Technology and Western Cape Government, in partnership with Wesgro, are currently investigating the business case and viability of a Cape Health Technology Park, which is aimed at enabling and supporting health technology innovation in the Western Cape.

Join us as we hear from Paul Herrling, chairman of the board of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases in Singapore on what they did to successfully attract foreign direct investment. We will hear from Craig Landsberg of Wesgro, and Project Manager of the Cape Health Technology Park, on what is being planned and the opportunities for business. Kelly Chibale, the Founder of UCT Drug Discovery & Development Centre (H3-D) will also share insights into current global interest and opportunities arising from Africa’s growth in this sector.

About the speakers

  • Paul Herrling, Ph.D. is the chairman of the board of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, Singapore, since 2002 and has consulted to Novartis Pharma AG from January 2012. Prior to this, Paul was Head of Novartis Institutes for Developing World Medical Research in Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. He is also a Professor of Drug Discovery Science at the University of Basel, Switzerland and serves on the Board of Trustees of The Scripps Research Institute in California.
  • Craig Landsberg is the Project Manager at Wesgro for the Cape Health Technology Park. Previously Craig worked at the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) assessing commercial merits of potential TIA investments. Prior to this, Craig was head of Business Support at Cape Biotech, a biotechnology investment entity, and CEO of Acorn Technologies, a life sciences incubator which merged with Cape Biotech in 2008. Craig serves as a non-executive director on the boards of several start-up firms with an interest in supporting tech start-ups.
  • Kelly Chibale is a Professor at UCT with a PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and his research field of drug discovery. In 2011, he founded H3-D, Africa’s first integrated modern Drug Discovery and Development Centre. One of his key projects was named 2012 Project of the Year by Medicines for Malaria Venture as a result of finding a potential cure for malaria. He now receives funding from various sources including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology to develop new medicines to treat tuberculosis and malaria.


November 12, 2015
8:00 am - 10:00 am
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