Translating biomedical research innovations into enterprise
Dr Wilber Sabiiti has hosted a delegation of Ghanaian academics from the University of Health and Allied Sciences and University of Cape Coast. The visit is part of the British Council Innovation for African Universities aimed at increasing youth and graduate employability in Africa. A partnership was developed between the University of St Andrews and the two Ghanaian universities with a view of addressing the graduate employability challenge through encouraging the translation of biomedical research innovations into enterprises and consequently growing the biotech industry. This will expand job opportunities for biomedical science graduates as well as expanding the innovation base to provide solutions to health challenges in Ghana and Africa at large.
This partnership has evolved from years of research and innovation between the University of St Andrews School of Medicine division of Infection and Global Health and partners across Africa. Through this work, the first ever diagnostic test, tuberculosis Molecular Bacterial Load Assay (TB-MBLA) that measures live tuberculosis bacteria without having to grow them in the laboratory was developed and is now under commercialisation. In addition, diagnostics for rapid detection of antibiotic resistant bacteria and bacteria responsible for exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been developed. It’s the vision of the Sabiiti research group to share the skills and knowhow with partners in Low- and Middle- Income Countries to develop their own research innovation capacity.