Date: June 5, 2019
Time: 15:30 – 17:00 South African Standard Time (SAST)
Event Hashtag: #VKSafricadrugdiscovery
VKS ePanel: Drug Discovery in Africa
Drug discovery research in Africa has lagged that carried out in the more developed nations of the world. Africa is often described as the ‘next frontier’ in the global economy, yet a crippling disease burden continues to choke economic growth on the continent. It is thus vital for Africans to contribute to finding solutions to their health problems, which are not just African health problems but human health problems. Historically Africa has benefited immensely from medicines discovered and developed elsewhere. It is time for Africa to reciprocate and in the process contribute to the creation of science jobs in Africa as well as confront afro-pessimism and debunk the myth that Africa is not, and cannot be, a source of health innovation, for example to discover new medicines. However, many diseases endemic to Africa differ from those of more advanced economies or else are often more severe.
Hence, the drive to find treatments and cures will be greatest where the impact will be highest, that is on the African continent. The lead for doing so has come from African academic institutions. With this, it is important to understand the types of partnerships and collaborations in Africa that can be made between academia, philanthropic organizations, governments and the pharmaceutical industry to optimise practices and minimize redundancies to deliver valuable new drugs. The lessons learned from doing successful drug discovery in an academic institution in Africa are also relevant to similarly inclined academic institutions worldwide, including those in more advanced economies.
Key areas that will be discussed during the ePanel are:
- Why is it important to set up drug discovery operations in Africa?
The impediments to carrying out drug discovery in Africa, and the infrastructure/capacity/ capabilities that need to be developed.
The value proposition in Africa for drug discovery that may not be as accessible elsewhere.
The distinguishing features between pharmaceutical drug discovery and academic drug discovery, including those involving academic research institutes.
The translational work needed to channel fundamental academic research into productive drug discovery programs.
The operational models for academic research institutes and the challenges associated with them.
The role and operations of Product Development Partnerships (PDPs).
The paradigm shift for big pharma, academia and PDPs towards collaborative drug discovery.
What might be done to encourage and expand investment and engage the broader African community in drug discovery research.
Following the e-Panel discussion broadcast, audience members watching the live event will be able to participate in a live Q&A with the panelists. Questions can be submitted during the broadcast via Twitter or the chat room, or in advance when registering for the event.
Copyright Keystone Symposia, 2019. All rights reserved.
About Keystone Symposia:
Keystone Symposia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1972 that convenes 50-60 open, international scientific research conferences each year across the full range of the life sciences – from cardiovascular disease to immunology to neurobiology. The conferences accelerate life science discovery by bringing together and fostering collaboration among the world’s leading and next generation of research scientists.
Visit Keystone Symposia at:
Visit Virtual Keystone Symposia at:
For more videos:
Follow us on Twitter:
Like us on Facebook: