African Biotech

Africa’s growing biotech business relies heavily on public and foundation money, small startups, and R&D collaborations between universities and private labs.  There are a lot of potential and possibilities for small innovative companies.  While foundation money is great, the industry does need a jolt of private venture capital.  After a 3 day trip to Cuba in 2001, former South African President Thabo Mbeki returned home inspired by the resource-poor country’s massive science and technology program and drug manufacturing capacity.  Just 3 months later, he announced South Africa’s first National Biotechnology Strategy.  Drugs created in South Africa cost an estimated one-tenth of what they would in the developed world.  South Africa is aiming to be one of the world’s top ten biotechnology economies by 2018.

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