According to the World Health Organization, chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular- and chronic respiratory diseases, account for 60% of all deaths.  About 80% of chronic deaths occur in low and middle income countries, which leads to poverty and prevent economic growth.  In South Africa, cardiovascular diseases and cancer rank under the top five disease burdens.  Afrigen, together with its national and international partners, strives to manufacture and distribute biologics, making it more affordable and accessible.

Vaccines are preparations of killed, inactivated or protein units derived from bacteria or viruses. These preparations produce an immune response in the body and in turn provides the body with immunity to the microorganism.

Vaccines have been used for decades, saving the lives of millions worldwide. According to Steve Reed, founding director of Afrigen, a new generation of vaccines is filling pressing and unmet global health needs. Instead of preventing disease, many of the new vaccines will be therapeutic and help prevent disease recurrence. This is the 21st century’s global vaccine revolution, and it is being accelerated by the transformative role of adjuvants, genetics and the immune system. This will result in improved health outcomes for millions of people

With the help of adjuvant technologies, not only is the immune response increased, but the costs of vaccines are lowered due to lower dose requirements, which is essential for the developing world.

Adjuvants are used to boost the immunogenicity of modern vaccines, by enhancing the body’s immune response to the antigens. As a result, many of the commercial vaccines on the market currently contain different types of adjuvants. Researchers have for decades used adjuvants as a component of vaccine formulations as it is safe to use and it has improved the overall potency of vaccines.

Furthermore, adjuvants have also shown that they have a “dose-sparing” effect – meaning that less antigens can be used in formulations that contain adjuvants for the same level of protection. This has major significance for disease outbreaks, where vaccine stocks may diminish due to the large number of people being infected. Adjuvants have also broadened the coverage of strain-specific vaccines which may result in protection against new emerging strains.

Until the inception of Afrigen no adjuvant formulation facilities existed in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2016, Afrigen successfully participated in the technology transfer of IDRI’s oil-in-water adjuvant formulations. Subsequently, Afrigen is only the third company to possess this adjuvant formulation technology. These adjuvants will be available to our collaborators to be used in their existing and/or newly developed candidate vaccines. Interested parties can contact us at information@afrigen.co.za