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AU-EU Summit 17-18 February 2022: A Science Agenda

The AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform will organise side events at the AU-EU Summit on 14-18 February 2022. The purpose of the meeting will be to promote awareness of the contribution of collaborative research and development as a critical aspect of EU-Africa relations and collaborations, in particular in addressing global challenges together.

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Tuesday, February 15 • 11:00 - 13:00
(Ref 151100) Green Medicines in Africa: Plant Molecular Pharming to fight the COVID-19 pandemic - Convened by  Cape Biologix Technologies /M4F/BOKU

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Green Medicines in AfricaPlant Molecular Pharming to fight the COVID-19 pandemic
Cape Biopharms, South Africa and M4F, Austria agree on mutual technology exchange for GMP manufacturing capacity building for the production of COVID-19 medicines


Mr Declan Kirrane Moderator
11:00 Ambassador Mag. Martin Hojni Austrian Ambassador to the Political and Security Committee of the EU
11:07 Ambassador Tokozile Xasa South African Ambassador, Brussels (by video)
11:15 Signing ceremony plus Photos (Belinda Shaw and Kurt Zatloukal)
11:20 Dr Paul Ruebig Governing Board Member, European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT)
11:30 Prof Kurt Zatloukal M4F, Austria
11:40 Ms Belinda Shaw Cape Bio Pharms (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
11:50 Prof Eva Stöger University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Austria
12:00 Dr Alexandra Castilho University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Austria
12:10 Dr Amadou Alpha Sall L'Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD), Senegal
12:20 Dr Juan Miguel González-Aranda LifeWatch ERIC
12:30 Dr Michael Makanga, EDCTP
12:40 Eudy Mabuza Senior Science and Innovation Representative, US and SA Mission to the EU
12:50 Conclusion 

Cape Bio Pharms, South Africa and Medicines for Future (M4F), Austria will convene a session on "Green Medicines in Africa" within the context of the AERAP science meetings at the EU-Africa Summit. The session will be at 11 AM Brussels time, 15 February 2022. The meeting will be hybrid, with the possibility to participate virtually.

Among the various options to block SARS-CoV-2 infections by drugs, the inhibition of the binding of the virus to its receptor on human cells is one of the most promising approaches for COVID-19 therapy. This is mainly because the emerging virus variants are characterised by increased binding to the ACE2 receptor on the human cells due to natural selection. Consequently, drugs that mimic this receptor (so-called decoys) also show increased binding to the emerging virus variants, making the decoy more potent in neutralising the virus. Therefore, ACE2 decoys are among the few therapeutic options that naturally will become more efficacious in treating COVID-19 caused by new variants.
The drug to be developed by M4F is based on an ACE2 decoy with a markedly increased SARS-CoV-2 neutralising activity, optimized and widely tested in pre-clinical studies performed at the Medical University Graz. The potency of the ACE2 decoy is increased significantly as compared to conventional biotechnological production by its production in glyco-engineered plants, developed by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).
To quickly build up sufficient production capacities, M4F engages in several multinational partnerships. The first partnership to be signed is with Cape Bio Pharms located in South Africa and foresees mutual technology exchange for GMP production capacity building. This agreement is to be signed in the context of the EU-Africa Summit in February 2022. It should serve as a shining example to further develop the relations and exchange between Europe and Africa, in order to join forces fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cape Bio Pharms licences commercial production to its subsidiary Cape Biologix Technologies, South Africa to produce commercial-scale volumes of a range of plant-based SARS-CoV-2 recombinant proteins for diagnostics and research applications. Cape Biologix Technologies Senegal will be a plant-based cGMP manufacturing facility for vaccine and therapeutic-grade proteins and is expected to come online in early 2024.

avatar for Martin Hojni

Martin Hojni

Austrian Ambassador to the Political and Security Committee of the EU
avatar for Zatloukal, Kurt

Zatloukal, Kurt

Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular Biomedicine, Director of BBMRI.at, Medical University of Graz
Kurt Zatloukal, M.D.  is professor of pathology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria and is head of the Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular Biomedicine. His research focusses on molecular pathology of diseases as well as biobanking and related technologies. He coordinated... Read More →
avatar for Declan Kirrane

Declan Kirrane

Chair Science Summit UNGA77, ISC
Declan Kirrane is the Founder and Managing Director of ISC Intelligence in Science, the chairman and managing director of the science Summit at the United Nations General assembly, and co-founder of Medicines for Future (MAF). He has over 25 years of experience as a global senior... Read More →
avatar for Juan Miguel González-Aranda

Juan Miguel González-Aranda

CTO, LifeWatch ERIC
Currently LifeWatch ERIC Chief Technology Officer and Director for Spain. ERIC FORUM Executive Board Member representing the ENVRI cluster, and former Chair of ERIC FORUM too.As e-Biodiversity expert holding a PhD. Engineer on Telecommunications, and Industrial Organization-Enterprise... Read More →
avatar for Michael Makanga

Michael Makanga

Executive Director, EDCTP - Association
Dr. Michael Makanga, MD PhD FRCP: EDCTP Executive Director.Dr. Makanga is a clinician-scientist with 27 years of professional experience of working on health and poverty-related infectious diseases in Africa. This includes 23 years of work experience on medical product development... Read More →
avatar for Daan du Toit

Daan du Toit

Deputy Director-General, Department of Science and Innovation
Daan du Toit started his career in the South African Government with the then Department of Foreign Affairs where he trained as a diplomat. Since 2002 he has been attached to the Department of Science and Innovation, where he has notably served as the Department's representative in... Read More →
avatar for Eva Stoger

Eva Stoger

Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology, BOKU
Eva Stoger is currently heading the Institute of Plant Biotechnology and Cell Biology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. After completing her PhD at the University of Vienna she worked at the University of Florida, Gainesville, US, at the John... Read More →
avatar for Belinda Shaw

Belinda Shaw

Executive Chair & Founder, Cape BioLogix
Cape Biopharms (Pty) Ltd (“CBP”), established in 2018 as a spin-off of Africa’s leading university, The University of Cape Town, is one of the very few early movers in the highly promising and potentially industry disrupting area of “biopharming". Biopharming, also known as... Read More →
avatar for Amadou Alpha Sall

Amadou Alpha Sall

Administrateur Général, L’Institut Pasteur de Daka
Dr Amadou A Sall is the CEO of Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal and director of the WHO collaborating center for Arboviruses and viral hemorrhagic fever. He has been chairman of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and a member of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness... Read More →
avatar for Alexandra Castilho

Alexandra Castilho

Head, Institute of Plant Biotechnology and Cell Biology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria
Alexandra Castilho joined the Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology in 2004 and is currently heading the Plant Glycoengineering research group at the Institute of Plant Biotechnology and Cell Biology, BOKU, Vienna, Austria. Until 2018, she was the scientific coordinator... Read More →
avatar for Eudy Mabuza

Eudy Mabuza

Senior Science and Innovation Representative, Embassy of South Africa, Brussels
Ms Mabuza has seventeen and a half years of progressive experience in the PublicSector engaging and mediating with international agencies in an effort to increase bilateraland donor relations towards the South African Science System. She has been dealing with awide range of policy... Read More →

Paul Ruebig

Governing Board Member, European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT)

Tuesday February 15, 2022 11:00 - 13:00 CET