The European Investment Bank, in close cooperation with the European Union, is planning to support large-scale investment by South Africa’s specialist human vaccine manufacturer Biovac to increase development and manufacturing of vaccines and enable a quicker response to future pandemics.
Article continues below
The EIB’s first support for vaccine investment in South Africa is expected to increase annual production capacity at Biovac’s Cape Town plant to 500 million doses, enable manufacturing of viral and bacterial targeted vaccines and strengthen resilience to future pandemics in Africa.
Agreements to prepare detailed feasibility studies, finance preparatory works and commission detailed designs of the expanded vaccine production facility, to be financed by EUR 15 million European Union grant support, have been concluded by Biovac, the European Union and European Investment Bank.
This is a key step to enable new investment at the Biovac facility in the coming years, expected to exceed EUR 175 million and backed by South African and international financing partners.
“Africa remains highly vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases and to both the current COVID pandemic as well as future ones as well. Scaling up local vaccine development and manufacturing capacity is crucial to enable a quicker and more effective response to future health crises,” said Dr Morena Makhoana, Chief Executive Officer at Biovac.
"The new EIB and EU support for feasibility studies and preparatory works will maximise the impact of large-scale investment at Biovac’s pioneering Cape Town plant and enable Africa to host a world-class international vaccine manufacturing facility. This is a key milestone in ensuring that that South Africa has the required vaccine manufacturing capacity to respond to both local and regional needs."
Biovac is a bio-pharmaceutical company, based in Cape Town, that is the result of a partnership formed with the South African government in 2003 to establish local vaccine manufacturing capability for the provision of vaccines for national health management and security. ■