Initiated by kENUP Foundation, new financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and FIND (the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics) for the EUR 47.5 million project was formally agreed earlier today. The EIB will provide EUR 33.3 million for the specialist manufacturing plant in Mauritius. This has been complemented by EUR 3.2m provided by FIND that is being used to fund the rapid scale-up of the pilot phase production in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Scaling up medical innovation and specialist manufacturing is crucial to control COVID-19 and combat other diseases that can be treated, but for which treatments are not accessible to many in African countries. The European Investment Bank, as part of Team Europe, is pleased to provide EUR 33 million to support Cape Biologix to expand pharmaceutical production, create jobs and increase access to affordable disease testing and treatment across Africa and around the world by increasing the affordability of key proteins. This new investment, backed by the EIB and FIND, is bringing world class research from laboratories in Cape Town to improve the lives of millions of people.” said Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“Local innovation and manufacturing are critical to ensuring that quality tests can reach all who need them. We are very happy to build on our longstanding relationships in South Africa to work together on this transformative project with Cape Bio, in partnership with the EIB, translating exciting research into tangible products that will benefit everyone in the region. Building local capacity is not only needed today for COVID-19, but will also improve South Africa’s preparedness to respond to future threats.” said Dr Catharina Boehme, CEO of FIND.
“Effective and affordable testing and vaccinations are crucial to tackle COVID-19, HIV and other diseases causing immense health, social and economic harms to human health across Africa and around the world. Cape Bio Pharms, the holding Company of Cape Biologix, has successfully shown how plant protein can quickly and economically produce proteins essential for disease testing and therapy. Support from the European Investment Bank and FIND will unlock large scale production of COVID-19 tests and vaccines here in Africa and unlock large scale specialist production to combat HIV and a range of diseases impacting millions of people around the world.
Today is a milestone for medical research in Africa and global public health. To get a start-up off the ground takes enormous effort and I am extremely grateful for the early investment by Dr Wolfus Otto and Richard Radtke, but more so for the strategic Business Development and scale up expertise that Dr Otto has provided to get us to the this fantastic milestone” said Belinda Shaw, Cape Bio Pharms CEO.