ICGEB AFRIGEN MoU – strengthen partnership for training

Cape Town, 28 August 2023, ICGEB and Afrigen Biologics Pty (Ltd) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today, establishing a general framework for cooperation, relating to training in mRNA vaccine technology development and technology transfer.

Through the signing of the MoU, the ICGEB and Afrigen jointly strengthen their mission to promote the advancement of research, training and the use of biotechnology for sustainable development in the global South, with a focus on the African continent. Training will be offered at ICGEB world-class training sites in Cape Town, New Delhi and Trieste.  The parties will focus initially on training and skills development in bioprocessing and technology transfer followed by projects focusing on bioprocessing innovation.

Petro Terblanche, Afrigen CEO states, ‘The Team at Afrigen is delighted by this opportunity to benefit from the vast knowledge and experience that ICGEB has. Afrigen’s vision, goals and objectives are aligned with the scientific excellence of ICGEB and through this partnership we aim to create a centre of excellence in mRNA process and product development.  This fits firmly within the framework of the mRNA technology transfer programme and the World Health Organization and Medicines Patent Pool vision of knowledge sharing, empowerment and capacity building in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).’

Lawrence Banks, ICGEB Director General adds, ‘The mRNA technology transfer programme represents a unique opportunity for Africa to develop local manufacturing capability for state-of-the-art vaccine production. The partnership between ICGEB and Afrigen will directly contribute to the successful implementation of the mRNA technology transfer programme by providing access to training in vaccine production.’ Furthermore, he stated, ‘the agreement will provide capacity-building opportunities for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and biopharmaceutical production processes and promote innovation and capacity development for LMICs.’