GSK to create world's first R&D Open Lab in Africa
Pharma giant GSK is to invest £25m to create the world's first R&D Open Lab for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa.
The centre will see GSK scientists collaborate with research and scientific studies across Africa from its UK R&D hub and conduct epidemiological, genetic and interventional research to increase understanding of NCDs in the continent. An independent governing board of leading scientists and clinicians will oversee the implementation of the research projects.
The open lab aims to improve understanding of NCD variations seen in Africa, for example the apparent higher prevalence of treatment-resistant hypertension and aggressive breast cancers in younger women.
The news follows an announcement by GSK ceo, Sir Andrew Witty, on Monday which set out the company's plans significantly increase its presence in Africa. It is to build five new factories, representing an investment of around £100m, as well establish 25 academic Chairs at African universities to support development of local skills. Its new strategic investment also includes a commitment to train an additional 10,000 community healthworkers across sub-Saharan Africa.