MATUGGA – A visiting team of experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has hailed the DEI Biopharma manufacturing facility in Matugga, saying the facility provides a base for Africa to effectively respond to Covid-19 and other viruses using traditional medicine therapies.
The team, including WHO’s Regional Expert Advisory Committee on Traditional Medicine for COVID-19 Response (REACT) visited the facility on Monday March 7, and were introduced to the fast-completing establishment of Africa’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facility and the only fully integrated company, providing all dosage forms to all types of drugs, chemical, biological, and vaccines.
Prof. Joseph Okeibunor, who heads the team hailed “the massive investment” that will provide immediate employment for Africa and lead research and manufacturing in traditional medicines.
He said the WHO will support the initiative within the mandate of the organisation and its responsibility to member states.
“We are proud of you! And I am sure this will be driven to fruition knowing the person behind it — the Lion’s heart Minister [Dr. Musenero].
Prof. Okeibunor added:
“I am overjoyed [because] this is employment for Africa. I want to congratulate you and thank you for the opportunity to have come and see this massive investment”.
Speaking after completing the tour of the facility with the team of WHO experts, Dr. Monica Musenero Masanza, the Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation commended the DEI Biopharma team under the leadership of Mr. Matthias Magoola for carrying the flag of the African resilience so high, and providing a solution that will lead research and manufacturing of traditional medicines, to serve Africa and humanity.
“We need to be defiant against the situations that the world has in the past put us in, and we allow. We need to make Africa stand on her feet”.
“The dream is to industrialise Uganda, and Africa and turn it into industry such that we can fight poverty and underdevelopment.
This far, every effort has been in improving subsistence, but we are now saying, we are interested in industry. We want to take our knowledge and intellectual property, and eventually bring it through manufacturing and avail it to the world. This facility is a big component in the value chain”.
DEI Biopharma is the only African company now distributing the Covid-19 treatment medicines and getting ready to supply one billion doses of an mRNA vaccine through collaboration with the WHO.
Speaking after the team completed the tour of the facility, Mr. Matthias Magoola, the DEI Group Managing Director said DEI Biopharma has resolved all intellectual property issues and supply chain constraints to be the first company to distribute all new medicines against the Covid-19 and antiviral and resistant TB infections.
DEI Biopharma also announced the approval of its Molnupiravir drug, the first such product to treat Covid-19 infection, and laid out the plans for other essential newer products Paxlovid, Fluvoxamine, Ritonavir, Nirmatrelvir, and Rilpivirine.
Mr. Magoola also indicated that the biological products facility of DEI Biopharma will produce all of the biologic medicines listed as essential drugs, including filgrastim, erythropoietin, and trastuzumab, among several others, the first such source of biosimilars in Africa.
He said the manufacturing facilities of DEI Biopharma are built on modular platforms that have arrived or arriving from the EU and USA.
“These modules are fully cGMP compliant and allow DEI Biopharma to produce the highest quality products that will reduce the need to import lower quality drugs,” he said.
The DEI Biopharma portfolio also includes nutraceuticals starting with the first US-patented alleviation of Parkinson’s disease that will go into distribution within 90 days.
Mr. Magoola noted that the DEI Biopharma technology arrives from the EU and USA with the highest cGMP standards and safety evaluation.
When fully functional, DEI Biopharma will be the most prominent African company that will allow us to take care of the needs specific to Africa using the most modern drugs and therapies, in addition to the essential traditional medicines.
Accordingly, DEI Biopharma will fill in the most direly needed requirements of African health.
The WHO team is part of a mission to Uganda comprising of REACT members, experts from WHO headquarters and Regional Office, Africa CDC and WHO country office who have been in the country since 30th January, 2022 to provide technical support to the country in respect of the ongoing efforts to develop traditional based therapies for the treatment of Covid-19.
The Group is set to meet President Museveni at the end of the visit, that has taken them to the country’s physical and knowledge based facilities including government installations, the private sector and institutions like Makerere University.
The DEI Group under the leadership of Mr. Matthias Magoola, a a professional chemist, is developing a multi-billion biological drugs and mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility, that was launched by President Yoweri Museveni on July 6, 2021, and its construction is part of the efforts to help making Africa self-sustaining in healthcare, under the theme “making a giant leap”.