Africa Non-communicable Disease (NCD) Open Lab

Partnership objective

To conduct high quality epidemiological, genetic and interventional research to increase understanding of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) in Africa. The open lab aims to improve understanding of NCD variations seen in the Africa setting and use the insights to inform prevention and treatment strategies to enable researchers across academia and industry to discover and develop new medicines to address the specific needs of African patients. 

The open lab will support the training of African scientific researchers who will participate in a portfolio of projects, building local expertise and creating a new generation of NCD experts. The open lab will support the training of African scientific researchers who will participate in a portfolio of projects, building local expertise and creating a new generation of NCD experts. Copyright GSK

What are the health needs and challenges?

The open lab aims to improve understanding of NCD variations seen in the Africa setting, for example the apparent higher prevalence of treatment-resistant hypertension and aggressive breast cancers in younger women. It is hoped that these insights will inform prevention and treatment strategies and will enable researchers across academia and industry to discover and develop new medicines to address the specific needs of African patients. 

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The new Africa NCD Open Lab will see GSK scientists collaborate with research and scientific centres across Africa from its hub at GSK’s Stevenage R&D facility in the UK to conduct high quality epidemiological, genetic and interventional research to increase understanding of NCDs in Africa.

The open lab will directly support the training and education of African scientific researchers who will participate in a portfolio of projects, building local expertise, creating a new generation of African NCD experts whilst instilling a deep vein of ‘African thinking’ within GSK’s own R&D organisation.

An independent governing board of leading scientists and clinicians has been established to provide input on strategy and project selection.

Partnership information

Company(ies) GlaxoSmithKline

Partner(s) Local government & associations, Local hospitals & health centers & patient groups

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Cancer, Cardiovascular Diseases, Chronic kidney disease, Diabetes, Respiratory Diseases

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing, Research & Development - Innovative Funding Mechanisms

Targeted Population(s) Children, Health professionals, Men, Mothers, Patients in needs of treatment, People with low income, Women

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 11

Country(ies) Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda

Start Date 2014

More information Press Release

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« Today, we are setting out further steps to tackle Africa’s dual health burden of infectious and emerging non-communicable diseases and help build crucial capacity to underpin the development of the healthcare sector in the region. »

Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK