Overview of Current Drug Discovery Activities in Africa and Their Links to International Efforts to Combat Tropical Infectious Diseases

  • Barthélemy Nyasse


Africa’s drug discovery activities are largely shaped by the interests of international programs and funders, often not engaging with countries and their public health needs. These activities are also concentrated in countries where science and technologies receive significant attention as in South Africa, Tunisia, and Egypt. South Africa is incontestably the leader in drug discovery activities either on the basis of academic or pharmaceutical firms’ contributions in Africa. Capabilities do exist within Africa in the various drug discovery and development stages and commercialization for the following areas: basic and exploratory discovery research relevant to drugs, diagnostics, vaccines and insecticides, hit identification, hit to lead identification, lead optimization, natural products and traditional medicines, management of intellectual property, preclinical toxicology and safety pharmacology, clinical studies, regulatory expertise, process chemistry/ raw materials, manufacturing/formulation, and marketing and phase iv/pharmacovigilance. However, low levels of investment in science and technology and the lack of collaboration between key actors, a critical mass of drug scientists and a coordination of research activities, remain major challenges for the development of health innovation on the continent.


Gross Domestic Product Visceral Leishmaniasis Southern African Development Community African Union Health Innovation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



African Malaria Network


African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology


African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation


Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients


African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control


African Poverty Related Infection Oriented Research Initiative


African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators Initiative


African Technology Policy Studies Network


African Union


Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa


Commission on Macroeconomics and Health


Council on Health Research for Development


European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership


European Medicines Agency


Food and Drug Administration


Global Alliance for TB Drug Development


Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization


Gross Domestic Product


Global Health Partnerships


Global Institute for BioExploration—Africa


Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property


Special Programme for Research and Training in Human Reproduction


Health Research Systems Analysis


HIV Vaccine Initiative


International Aids Vaccine Initiative


International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology


Intergovernmental Working Group


Intellectual Property


Initiative to Strengthen Health Research Capacity in Africa


Japan Society for the Promotion of Science


Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance


Millennium Development Goals


Mectizan Donation Programme


Medicines for Malaria Venture


Malaria Vaccine Initiative


Natural Products Research Network of Eastern and Central Africa


New Partnership for Africa’s Development


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Product Development Public-Private Partnerships


Polio Eradication Programme


Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa


Roll Back Malaria


Southern African Consortium for Research Excellence


Southern African development Community


South African Malaria Initiative


Safe Injection Global Network


Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases


Trade and Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights


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Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of Yaoundé IYaoundeCameroon

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