Namur, Belgium, April 13th, 2021
Minister-President of Wallonia, Elio Di Rupo has the honor of welcoming today His Excellency, Macky Sall, President of Senegal and prominent Senegalese institutions in public health to meet with Univercells and advance collaborations in line with Senegal’s scientific development and public health goals, bolstering Senegal’s public health ambitions.
Accompanying the Senegalese Political Delegation to meet Univercells S.A. (“Univercells”) were the Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training (“IRESSEF”) and the Institut Pasteur de Dakar (“IPD”). Both IRESSEF and IPD have facilities in Diamniadio, near Dakar. Emerging as a hub for biotechnology in Senegal and West Africa at large, with these two bilateral collaborations Univercells is working to strengthen the local technological capacity for ongoing bioproduction and biomedical research with international partners.
IRESSEF is a non-profit, public institute, working closely with local research institutes, universities, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations across Africa and beyond. Univercells and IRESSEF signed a Letter of Intent (“LoI”) to work together to create bioproduction capacity, alongside strengthening of the research and development capabilities of IRESSEF. This collaboration would be focused on vaccines for routine immunization in Senegal.
Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) is a leading biomedical research and public health Institute in Senegal and Africa with a proven expertise on fighting emerging diseases to protect public health and promote disease surveillance. IPD is the only WHO pre-qualified manufacturer vaccine in Africa and has been manufacturing vaccines for 80 years. The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the emergence of novel variants have underlined the importance of dedicated supply of needed health products. Univercells and IPD signed a second LoI outlining Univercells’ support for a consortium, led by IPD, to rapidly establish local bioproduction of COVID-19 vaccines and leveraging the proprietary manufacturing solutions from Univercells Technologies.
These two separate projects demonstrate the strategic importance of Senegal as a hub for biotechnology on the African continent. All parties have expressed enthusiasm about the long-term potential for Belgo-Senegalese collaborations. Univercells remains committed to innovation and partnerships, pursuing its mission of making biologics available to all. It is our hope that this collaboration is a significant milestone in the relationship between our organization and African countries.