Health Biotechnology

The Health Biotechnology Unit aims to enhance South Africa’s global competitiveness in the health arena and to deliver socio-economic value through technological innovation in healthcare products and services addressing the diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of priority disease areas in South Africa. The priority diseases that have been identified as having the greatest impact on public health and quality of life in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, include HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, respiratory diseases, cancer and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The goal of the Health Biotechnology Unit is to stimulate and support the development, registration, manufacture and commercialisation of products and services which address the healthcare needs of the country. The priority investment areas include drug development (including phytomedicine), medical devices and diagnostics, and vaccines and biologicals.

Purpose

The Health sector aims to enhance South Africa’s global competitiveness in the health arena and to deliver socioeconomic value through technological innovation in healthcare products and services, addressing the diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of priority disease areas within South Africa.

Operational Objectives

  • Invest in projects that focus on the development of affordable and adaptable novel health products that address the high burden of disease in Southern Africa;
  • focus on the development of capacity within drug development, including building critical mass in areas of HIV, malaria and TB, as well as phytomedicines;
  • strengthen the current portfolio of medical devices and diagnostic products, develop point of care diagnostics with a focus on TB, and exploit South Africa’s expertise in cardiac and orthopaedic devices;
  • develop local vaccine manufacturing capability for pandemic response and address Africa’s disease burden; and
  • support local API manufacturing efforts.