FemBioBiz Phase 2 Results are in for South Africa & Lesotho

FemBioBiz phase 2 winners, judges and facilitators

The 2nd phase of the South African edition of FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme concluded on Friday last week in Cape Town, with four female bio-entrepreneurs selected to represent SA and Lesotho at the annual SA Innovation Summit to be held in September.

New TB Meningitis test beats 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.

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?

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.

Resurrection bush tea

Resurrection bush tea

SUMMARY
The project aims to commercialise Resurrection Bush Tea out of Zimbabwe. Resurrection bush is drunk in small volumes by herbal tea drinkers in Zimbabwe, and to a smaller extent in South Africa. However, at present the domestic volumes are lower than it is believed they could be, with a more premium product aimed at higher end and tourist markets. In addition the project believes it is possible to enter the international market with the required safety and toxicology data in place.

An epitome of knowledge on healing power of plants: Profiling Prof Namrita Lall

Prof Namrita Lall

Prof Namrita Lall is a Professor and a Research Chair of Medicinal Plant Science at the University of Pretoria. She holds a PhD in Phytomedicine from the University of Pretoria and a BSc in Biological Sciences. The unifying research interests of Prof Lall include antituberculosis natural product leads from medicinal plants, susceptibility studies of other bacteria to medicinal plants, cytotoxicity of plant extracts/compounds, anticancer activity of medicinal plants, and antityrosinase (skin pigmentation, skin lightening) activity of plants.