CEO, Afrigen Biologics, South Africa
The Frontiers of mRNA Technology Development and Transfer in Africa: Let’s Celebrate the Science and the Women Behind it!
Host: L. Donaldson
The remarkable history of mRNA technology culminated, five decades after the discovery of messenger RNA in 1961, with the rapid development of mRNA vaccines that saved millions of lives during the Covid 19 pandemic. The extraordinary scientific developments that paved the way for mRNA as a technology and its promise of public health benefits have become a global innovation platform. The development speed of mRNA vaccines during the pandemic demonstrated the potential value of mRNA technology platforms to respond to epidemics and pandemics. Today there is growing evidence that the versatility of mRNA technologies could allow for worldwide development of new vaccines or improving existing vaccines. However, mRNA technology for vaccines and therapeutics have to overcome significant challenges to reach its full value proposition for public health applications at a global level. These challenges includes access (IP restrictions), high cost of goods, raw material supply and the capabilities and manufacturing capacity to ensure universal access to vaccines particularly for Africa and other LMICs. The WHO/MPP mRNA technology development and transfer Programme is dedicated to empower LMICs to develop and manufacturing mRNA vaccines to ensure sustainable access to this future relevant technology for health.
This presentation will focus on mRNA technology and the amazing women frontiers written into the mRNA history books and the next generation of women in the WHO/MPP mRNA Center for technology development and transfer located in the Southern Tip of Africa. A team dedicated to technology development and transfer in a quest for making mRNA vaccine development and manufacturing accessible to LMICs.
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