Malawi on the map – FemBioBiz Phase 2

Zakia

The second phase of FemBioBiz Season 2 has been concluded for Malawi, home to a population of 18 million of which half sustains itself on agriculture. The country faces challenges in improving healthcare, creating employment and expanding its economy amongst others. Malawian female entrepreneurs however have the potential and vigour to play a central role in addressing these problems.

New TB Meningitis test bests the rest

Tuberculous meningitis

TB meningitis is a major cause of death in Southern Africa, but the current diagnostic tests are not as quick or as sensitive as they need to be. Finding a sensitive, rapid test for TB meningitis has been elusive until now, but that is changing thanks to BioFISA II funding and researchers at Antrum Biotech.

South African cattle diagnostic test eyes global markets

cow farm

Cattle farmers can now test their animals on the spot for brucellosis, a highly infectious disease that threatens both bovine and human life. Much like a pregnancy test, the new diagnostic tool, developed by LifeAssay Diagnostics and supported by NEPAD SANBio, gives results within 10 minutes, and with even greater accuracy than slower, more expensive lab tests.

New African forensic genotyping kit will help bring down sexual predators

Forensic cover

A BioFISA II grant has helped Inqaba Biotec and the University of the Western Cape achieve their goal of creating a better, cheaper forensic kit custom-built for African genetic diversity. Project manager, Mischa Francesca Fraser talks about the need for such a product for Africa and how it will help police solve sexual assault cases in southern Africa and the rest of the continent.

I4F project turns mealworms into sustainable food products

Mealworms

Insects For Feed, Food and Fertiliser (I4F), a flagship project funded by NEPAD SANBio through the BioFISA II programme, is turning highly nutritious yellow mealworms into animal feed, food and other products.

When you think of insects, your first thoughts are probably of creepy crawlies; they might make you feel scared, grossed out or just uncomfortable. But a new project wants you to feel differently about insects, and more specifically mealworms. Could you ever think of these squirming bugs as food?

SANBio Summer School teaches the business of clinical research in Africa

SANBio Summer School participants

Can clinical research have a business dimension? SANBio’s most recent Summer School, held on 25-26 February 2018 in Pretoria, brought together 28 students from 10 SADC countries to learn about the business of clinical research from researcher, clinicians and entrepreneurs from around Africa.  The course participants relate their experience below.

Entrepreneurs and scientists join forces to talk innovation at SANBio Annual Event 2018

SANBio Annual Event 2018
African entrepreneurs showed off their products, scientists boasted novel solutions to the continent’s great problems, and venture capitalists prowled the venue looking for their next multi-million rand investment. NEPAD SANBio’s recent Annual Event bore the fruits of the Finnish-Southern African Partnership Programme BioFISA II, which is helping NEPAD SANBio in building a network for innovation in life sciences throughout southern Africa.

Healthy and climate-smart sorghum biscuits set to flood the market

Sorghum
Three young female entrepreneurs have started an innovative baked goods business under the incubation hub of the National University of Lesotho (NUL). The three are poised to take on the sweet business of biscuits and other baked goods using sorghum, with funding from NEPAD SANBio’s BioFISA II Programme to help them fulfill their ambitions of one day exporting their tasty treats.

African biotech initiative promises relief from ARV side effects

Genetic puzzle
A multinational NEPAD SANBio project called GeneDose is using genetic tests to fight the harmful side effects of antiretrovirals. Now starting clinical trials in Zimbabwe, GeneDose will improve patients’ quality of life and make personalised medicine a reality in Africa.