Local pharmaceutical manufacturer ventures into anti-retrovirals
According to Fabupharm, the focus of the collaboration is mainly on two patents, which include a broad spectrum antibiotic (Azithromycin), and an ARV drug (Nevirapine) used by HIV/AIDS patients. This will be a first for Namibia when the medicines are manufactured locally.
Fabupharm recently appointed Dr. R.W. Odendaal as its Quality Assurance Pharmacist. During his time as researcher at the university, Dr. Odendaal researched and developed these patents. The ownership of the patents remains with the university however, as research protocols explicitly reserved patent rights for the funding institution. To enable Fabupharm to manufacture these patents, the company had to approach the Northwest University for collaboration opportunities. Dr. Odendaal said,“currently, Fabupharm is also supporting UNAM’s School of Medicine by taking in Pharmacy interns every year. Through this agreement, local students will be exposed to the research and product development of the patents.”
He highlighted that Fabupharm is also assisting a student from UNAM with a project on natural treatments for various types of cancers. Dr. Odendaal further stated the possibility for Northwest and UNAM to collaborate on product development and research.
“Fabupharm’s mission is to provide quality products at affordable prices. By manufacturing the medicines locally, we aim to offer these normally expensive medicines at more affordable prices,” said Fanie Badenhorst Snr, Managing Director at Fabupharm.
“We don’t have too much exposure to exchange rate volatilities, because we are manufacturing locally and only import raw materials. Local manufacturing helps to keep our prices stable,” he explained.
“Other positive impacts of manufacturing the anti-biotic and ARV will be an increased investment at the factory, which again will necessitate employing more local people.” Presently, Fabupharm is employing 70 locals from the Otjozondjupa Region,” he said.