President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to join Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder of the multinational conglomerate NantWorks, LLC, in launching the NantSA vaccine manufacturing campus in Brackenfell, Cape Town, on Wednesday.
The President and Dr Soon-Shiong will also launch the Coalition to Accelerate Africa’s Access to Advanced Healthcare (The Cyril RamaphosaH Coalition).
This launch comes after an announcement made by Dr Soon-Shiong in September last year of an ambitious initiative to build capacity for advanced health care in Africa.
NantSA, a division of NantWorks, and The Cyril RamaphosaH Coalition aim to accelerate domestic production of pharmaceuticals, biologics and vaccines that will reach patients across the African continent.
In a statement on Monday, The Presidency said that through the synergistic efforts of members of The Cyril RamaphosaH Coalition, self-reliance will be accelerated around next-generation vaccines manufactured in South Africa for Africa, innovative therapeutics and pandemic preparedness.
“With the support of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, institutes for infectious disease and cancer centres of excellence will be established at the universities of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand and the Chan Soon-Shiong Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CSS CERI) at the University of Stellenbosch,” the Presidency said.
President Ramaphosa and Dr Soon-Shiong will perform a ribbon-cutting for the official launch of the NantSA vaccine manufacturing campus at Brackengate and also present the vision and mission of The Cyril RamaphosaH Coalitions.
The event will be attended by a select group of invitees including representatives of government, academia and the biotech industry. ■
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