Equity Bank provided up to US$100 million funding for construction, importation of HiTech Medical Equipment and machines as well as working capital support. Uganda Development Bank has contributed US
Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, on Friday commissioned the Dei Biopharma manufacturing facility in Matugga, near Kampala.
The pharmaceutical plant will produce high quality yet affordable medicines across a range of therapeutic medications including cancer and malaria treatment, that will make a difference to millions of families across Africa.
He lauded the Dei Group Managing Director, Mathias Magoola, family, and those working with him for establishing the project, adding that it is such investments that will make Uganda a modern economy catalyzed by growth and development.
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.
“We are entering a totally new phase in Uganda broadening and deepening our economy and one way is through people with resilience like Magoola,” he said.
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.
“I congratulate and thank Equity Bank for supporting Magoola, “said the President.
In a speech at the commissioning of the multimillion-dollar facility, 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.
Equity Group Holdings Chairman, Prof. Isaac Macharia lauded the Government of Uganda for having taken the bold step to support a project of this magnitude whose benefits will be felt across the continent.
“As Equity, we are aligned and want to contribute at the frontline, impactful largescale projects that hold great promise on the future of Africa as the world begins its journey of building back better by cushioning against major world shocks such as the collapse of global supply chains that were brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“It is gratifying to note that infectious diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality here in Africa and Dei Biopharma is a pacesetter in how Uganda is taking the lead in a solutions-first approach. A clear recognition of how the challenges we face presents great opportunities for investment, which are lessons that were reinforced for Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dei Biopharma is an inspiring example of how Africa can create its own regional manufacturing, supply chains, and promote regional trade to cushion itself from over reliance on global supply chains,” he added.
Uganda’s National Drug Authority NDA Chairman Dr Medard Bitekyerezo called for amendment of the authority’s laws to enable it to certify medicines expeditiously for the world market.
“We are advocating for BUBU, Buy Uganda Build Uganda and we have walked with Magoola and providing technical support that will enable this factory to produce drugs that meet world standards,” he said
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.