Diaspora Scientists advance Medicine and Vaccine Production in Kenya


Daktari Biotechnology is engaged in developing high quality, affordable biosimilars aimed at expanding Africa’s patient access to cutting-edge class of therapies. The Diaspora scientists aim to enable and provide resource limited countries access to high quality, advanced therapies for diseases that are chronic, where medical needs are largely unmet and costs are high.

Diaspora scientists led by Dr. Wilson Endege aspire to transform patient lives’ through innovative and inclusive healthcare solutions by developing and producing a large portfolio of biosimilars because the company’s goal is to establish product pipeline of at least 15 biosimilars molecules that include insulin, erythropoietin, interferons, VEGF and several others that will also include antibody therapeutic technologies.

Diaspora Scientists continue to make advancements in meeting healthcare needs everyday as they advance medicine and vaccine development and production. Their pharmaceutical production will initially focus on producing Biosimilar biologics using the technologies that include: Baculovirus Mammalian Expression System (BacMam) and Baculovirus Insect Cells System (BEVs) Technologies. This will be developed alongside novel/modified small molecule generics with a goal of deploying technologies that are similar to long acting slow effective release antiretroviral therapy (LASER) and other novel extended release drug delivery technologies which will be developed with the needs of those in resource limited settings in mind. The LASER ART technology, a co-invention of Dr. Benson Edagwa, was applied to an anti-HIV medicine to produce an injectable that could be administered once every year to facilitate treatment and prevention of HIV-1 and other viral infections.

Daktari Biotechnology will deploy Bacmam expression technology originally developed by Dr. Frederick Boyce, and has been recently improved upon through technology developed by both Dr. Frederick Boyce and Dr. Wilson Endege. The technology involves a combination of improved new vectors and human cells lines to significantly enhance protein expression levels that facilitate scalable and rapid production of biologics and vaccines therapies.

Baculovirus Expression System (BEVS) technology has already been used to create vaccines such as FluBok (Protein Sciences) and Cervarix (Glaxo Smith Kline) that are currently used clinically. Most recently, the BEVs technology has been applied in the production of SARS-CoV2 vaccine that had 89.6% efficacy in phase III clinical trials besides also having good efficacy in neutralizing some nCovid-19 virus mutants (UK and South Africa variants). The developed vaccine is under review by the FDA & European Medicines Agency for Emergency Use Approval.

Daktari Biotechnology is working on setting up collaboration with Contract Research Organizations (CROs) that specialize in scale up of protein expression and subsequent product purification to produce biosimilars as well as the subunit and VLPs vaccine products. The company is also developing vaccines that target animal diseases using BEVS technology, starting with foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) vaccine. The company plans to extend this vaccine production technology to other domestic animal diseases with time.

Treatment of chronic infections requires life-long adherence to medicines, the use of long-lasting small molecule treatment technology in producing medicines will be extremely helpful in advancing healthcare in Kenya and other African Countries. Diaspora scientists are developing long lasting medicines that have been shown to improve disease treatment outcomes in preclinical studies. Compared to existing daily pills, such treatments will enable medicines to be taken monthly or even less frequently and could also provide greater patient privacy, adherence and satisfaction. Diaspora Scientists have the expertise and abilities to transform daily antiviral medicines into long-acting forms and will extend similar approaches to other conditions such as COVID 19, tuberculosis and malaria to help the developing world.

Thus, the less frequently administered and effective medicines will provide a paradigm shift in the management of viral, bacterial and parasitic/protozoa infections in resource limited settings.

To address the Covid 19 pandemic, Diaspora scientists are currently focused on developing a subunit spike protein and a Multi-Epitope SARS-CoV2 vaccine, an interferon based prophylactic and a small molecule compound. Work on these programs have been initiated through Contract Research Organization (CRO). Daktari Biotechnology therefore continues to seek partnerships and support to advance these novel ideas that will provide healthcare solutions for those in Africa.

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