Africa has great potential for drug discovery and is often described as the “next frontier” in the global economy. The continent is rich in natural resources, indigenous knowledge and human capacity while bearing more than 20% of the global disease burden. Multiple issues, including the lack of resources, political instability and a continued “brain-drain” of experienced scientists to “greener pastures” makes it difficult to conduct world class science.
In this talk, I will present H3D, Africa’s first integrated drug discovery and development centre. Following inception at the University of Cape Town in April 2010, I will highlight key local and international projects and partnerships [which led to the identification of compound MMV048, the first clinical anti-plasmodial candidate of a new class of compounds which target the parasite PI4 kinase system, and the first clinical candidate to come out of Africa], that has brought the centre into the position to pioneer world-class drug discovery in Africa.