A ground-breaking new memorandum of understanding between CEPI (The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) and the African Union was signed following a prestigious two-day virtual event, attended by Ziccum, hosted by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Africa Union, on 12-13 April 2021. Ziccum CEO Göran Conradson: “The shared commitment at the event to speeding up vaccine manufacture and Fill and Finish capacity within Africa was inspiring. We warmly welcome the new aim of increasing local production of vaccines across Africa by up to 60% by 2040 and believe Ziccum technology could play a valuable role.”
The event, ‘Expanding Africa’s Vaccine Manufacturing’, was hosted by an eminent panel of high-profile heads of states, policy makers and stakeholders including the President of South Africa, HE Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Director General of the World Health Organization Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC’s opening address highlighted Africa’s vision of ensuring that “Africa has timely access to vaccines to protect public health security, by establishing a sustainable vaccine development and manufacturing ecosystem in Africa.”
The two-day event aimed to highlight Africa CDC’s efforts to push for a clear programme for manufacturing and development of vaccines in Africa. The lack of vaccine manufacturing, Fill and Finish and Cold Chain capacity on the continent has led to huge barriers in their ability to access sufficient vaccine supplies across the region. Instead, Africa has relied mainly on overseas imports, which account for 99% of their vaccine supplies. This has resulted in less than 2% of the world’s vaccines being administered within the African Region.
All panellists expressed their commitment to speeding up vaccine manufacturing across the continent, as well as increasing regional Fill and Finish capacity, with the aim to reduce vaccine imports to the African continent by around 40%, and to be fully responsible for the manufacture of vaccines for three emerging diseases including Ebola, Lassa fever and Rift Valley disease by 2040.
Ziccum CEO Göran Conradson: “Let’s remember the Conference’s closing call to “act now, act collectively – and act differently” as we move forward! This new agreement is of profound strategic and social importance – for Africa and the entire global vaccine arena. We applaud CEPU, the Africa Union and Africa CDC. We embrace the aspiration to increase local vaccine production in the continent from today’s lamentable 1% up to 60% by 2040, and to create regional vaccine research and manufacture hubs in 5 key regions. The Conference ended with the words of Nelson Mandela – “We always think something is impossible until it is done” – this event showed the strength of will out there now for making new possibilities in vaccine manufacture and distribution. So let’s do it. Let‘s set vaccines free.”
To address the panels’ repeated calls for increased regional vaccine development capacity, Ziccum offers their novel method.
Ziccum is currently planning to develop a series of aseptic modular Fill and Finish plants enabling individual African Nations to produce up to 30 million vials of thermostable dry-powder vaccines using Ziccum’s patented LaminarPace air-drying technology. This would equate to 300 million doses. According to Dr Amadou Alpha Sall, Director of the Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal, Africa needs to be able to produce 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, thus Ziccum’s plants will produce greater vaccine supply than the expected demand which allows potential to greatly enhance export opportunities. Ziccum’s Fill and Finish plants will drive self-sufficiency and security of vaccine supplies across the African Nations to enable them to better respond to COVID-19, prepare for inevitable future pandemics and continue routine immunization.
The event led to a historic signing of a memorandum of understanding between CEPI and the African Union Commission. Ziccum can contribute towards the development of infrastructure and expertise to support technology transfer and develop national and regional manufacturing capacity, that will enable African countries to take full ownership of their national health security whilst eliminating the need for the cold chain, minimising vaccine wastage and greatly reducing energy usage.
Find out more information about the event here.
Event programme agenda here.
You may access recordings of the conference below:
For more information about Ziccum, please contact:
Göran Conradson: CEO Ziccum AB
Mobile: +46 709 61 55 99