Biopharmaceuticals are therapeutic drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics in which the active ingredient is produced in a living substance such as eggs or tobacco plants. The living substance acts as a ‘miniature factory’ in which the active ingredient is grown and replicated. Catherine Tomlinson takes a deep dive into the fascinating research and other initiatives in South Africa aimed at spurring local production of these products – and asks why a Cape Town-based company opted to set up a manufacturing plant in Mauritius rather than at home.
We know antiretroviral therapy can prevent HIV infection, but can natural biological substances do the same? The results of a recent scientific trial have answered this question: Yes, using broadly neutralising antibodies. But what are broadly neutralising antibodies? How do they work? And when will the average person get access to them? Amy Green breaks down the science.