The battle against COVID-19 has brought to light glaring inequalities in access to life-saving vaccines. Despite efforts to inoculate the global population, disparities persist, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where vaccine coverage remains strikingly low. However, amidst these challenges, a ray of hope emerges through groundbreaking initiatives like the mRNA Technology Transfer Program.

The mRNA Technology Transfer Program, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), and partners, is designed to encourage the development of sustainable, locally owned mRNA manufacturing capabilities specifically adapted to LMICs. Central to this initiative is Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines (“Afrigen”).

Afrigen is on a mission to mitigate the discrepancy by facilitating vaccine production within LMICs. Pioneering a hub-and-spoke model, Afrigen leads the way as the inaugural entity in a strategic initiative set to expand across LMICs. By transferring technology and knowledge to 15 countries with limited resources and infrastructure, the Hub aims to support the decentralization of production and support the availability of vaccines for all.

Key to this endeavor is the strategic partnership between Afrigen and Univercells, particularly leveraging the innovative production technology NtensifyTM. This technology, developed by Univercells' affiliate Quantoom Biosciences with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, introduces a revolutionary approach to mRNA synthesis and purification, allowing for integrated, scalable and cost-effective mRNA Drug Substance manufacturing.