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MPs impressed by Dei Biopharma Vaccines Plant project progress

MATUGGA– Members of Parliament’s Budget Committee on Wednesday indicated they are satisfied with the vision and focus of the multi-billion dollar Pharmaceuticals plant being erected by Ugandan firm Dei Biopharma Ltd, and have indicated they will support a move to appropriate money from government to keep it on track.

The project promoted under the leadership of Ugandan chemist Matthias Magoola and his partners is currently at a halt after financing issues.

Cabinet has since intervened and Ministers led by Science, Technology and Innovations Minister Dr. Monica Musenero earlier on Wednesday also visited the plant and were impressed by the work done in the first phase of its construction.

On Wednesday afternoon the Parliament’s Budget Committee led by its Chairman Mr. Patrick Isiagi also visited the facility and described the progress as worth every penny.

“This is a very wonderful idea and the way things are moving, we only pray that nothing interrupts this project. This is a project which is going to attract a lot of jobs and bring in a lot of foreign currency exchanges to our country and balance up our trade with the world but will also reduce our import of drugs and we shall be exporting drugs,” said Mr. Isiagi in an interview with PML Daily.

He added on whether it’s an idea the Parliament of Uganda can support, the budget committee chairperson said: “Very much. There’s something you’re seeing already. Some great percent of work is done, so for us as Parliament and Ugandans in general, it is very important to support such projects which are going to generate revenue to the country and also generate jobs.”

The facility which is expected to employ up-to 40,000 directly and tens of thousands of others in the value chain needs more than UGX.500 billion to commence mass production, Mr. Mathias Magoola, the proprietor of the Dei Pharm Vaccines Plant in Matugga told ministers during a guided tour on Wednesday.

Magoola said that the factory, a toast of Uganda’s science innovation, will produce biologic solutions listed as essential drugs, including Filgrastim, Erythropoietin, and Trastuzumab, among several others, the first such source of biosimilars in Africa.

He revealed that Dei BioPharma has secured more than 3,000 formulations giving it a wide array of potential drugs for production, vaccines, anti-cancer drugs, ttherapeutic proteins, peptides and cell therapy among others.

The facility is also the only African pharmaceutical company now manufacturing the Covid-19 therapeutic medications and gearing to produce one billion doses of an mRNA vaccines guided by World Health Organization, WHO standards.

The development of the facility has been financed through partner funding from the Equity Group.

The Bank provided up to US$100 million funding for construction, importation of Hi-Tech Medical Equipment and machines as well as working capital support. Uganda Development Bank has contributed US$20 million.

In March 2022, a team of experts from the WHO commended Dei Biopharma for establishing the manufacturing facility, saying it provides a base for Africa to effectively respond to Covid-19 and other viruses using both traditional and modern medicinal therapies.

Dei BioPharma Uganda Ltd is a medical and foods (nutraceuticals & pharmaceutical) research company incorporated in Uganda, January 2014 that produces medicines, food supplements and cosmetics.

Dei Natural Products started manufacturing hand sanitizer under the brand name Covanil and a natural ‘malaria suppressant’ Artavol which was taken prophylactically as an herbal ‘tea.’ Following refinement, the Dei anti-malarial was registered by National Drug Authority in Uganda as THA-218and is currently undergoing WHO testing and procedures towards certification in recognition of its antimalarial properties.

In March 2022, a team of experts from the WHO commended Dei Biopharma for establishing the manufacturing facility, saying it provides a base for Africa to effectively respond to Covid-19 and other viruses using both traditional and modern medicinal therapies.

Dei BioPharma Uganda Ltd is a medical and foods (nutraceuticals & pharmaceutical) research company incorporated in Uganda, January 2014 that produces medicines, food supplements and cosmetics.

Dei Natural Products started manufacturing hand sanitizer under the brand name Covanil and a natural ‘malaria suppressant’ Artavol which was taken prophylactically as an herbal ‘tea.’ Following refinement, the Dei anti-malarial was registered by the National Drug Authority in Uganda as THA-218and is currently undergoing WHO testing and procedures towards certification in recognition of its antimalarial properties.

Dei BioPharma Uganda Ltd has now completed the first phase of what will be the first American Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) certified lab and production facility in Matugga area, Wakiso District in Uganda.


This will allow Dei BioPharma to trailblaze in being amongst the first manufacturers producing drugs and supplements for a global market from Africa once they receive the necessary recognition and approval from the World Health Organization who were in Uganda the first week to March 2022 to inspect the progress of the manufacturing plant.

This first phase is set to produce tablets and capsules of targeted formulations based on demand. Future scale-up phases will allow for production of antibiotics and mRNA vaccine production is planned.

The pursuit for FDA/EMA/WHO recognition necessitated a variation of the project plan to allow FDA/EMA teams to assess the project from the beginning and progressively.

On completion, the fully-fledged pharmaceutical plant will have the following units which have been provided for:

i.Pharmaceutical Quality Control Centre

ii.Cancer Research Centre

iii. Drug Discovery Centre

iv.Bio-Tech Labs and office block (civil works) v.Pharmaceutical equipment and the HVAC System.

The initial project cost was UGX 312.8B (equiv. to US$ 83.8M) but with variations it will cost-US$ 88M. 1. Pharmaceutical Plant Capacity – This is the section that is complete.

• A production plant for formulation of solid dosages and liquid plant with 30.7 million bottles per annum.

• Daily Production Capacity of Tablets (5M tablets), Capsules (5M pills), Pain

killers (5m tablets) and Syrup Suspensions (96,000 bottles).

• Drug Types include (such as therapeutic areas from generics, non-beta lactam antibiotics, nutraceuticals, vitamins, and supplements as well as herbal products. Other drugs to be produced are Adalimumab, Filgrastim, Chemotherapeutic agents, Antivirals including for HIV/AIDS management, Drugs used in irradiation, Peg Filgrastim- for stimulation of white blood cells as well as Capacity for Covid Vaccines.

Machinery for the plant was purchased from United Pharmatek LLC in the US, HVAC from TECO, Italy with some components of HVAC- Lab

Target Market

Dei Bio Pharma’s target market is mainly government hospitals, public hospitals and pharmaceutical outlets shops and export to regional markets. A key target for DEI biopharma in its scale- up is anti-infective given that infectious diseases remain the leading cause or mortality in Africa through malaria, tuberculosis,
other bacterial & viral infections and with drugs quite unaffordable to the average Ugandan.

Dei BioPharma reports that since most drugs are imported, further increasing the cost of medicines, it will present a solution in line with its mission to combat malaria in Uganda and in Africa as a whole.

SOURCE: PMLDAILY.COM

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