29 June 2021

TUT Prof leads new African herbal pharmacopoeia

Prof David Katerere, the co-founder of PharmaConnect Africa (PCA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Association for African Medicinal Plants Standards (AAMPS), which aims to promote worldwide recognition for Africa’s most important medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs).

Prof David Katerere, TUT’s Research Platform Chair holder of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Advancement in Africa (PBA2).

Both parties agreed to combine their knowledge and expertise in this field and to help complete the eagerly awaited 2nd edition of the African Herbal *Pharmacopoeia (AfrHP) that was first published by AAMPS in 2010. 

AAMPS was founded in Mauritius in 2006 and include many of the world’s leading experts on African MAPs as members. It will now move its headquarters to Tshwane, South Africa, where PCA is also based. 

Denzil Phillips, founding Director of AAMPS, expressed his appreciation for the MoU. “We are excited to join hands with PCA, as this will give us renewed strength and access to a huge network of stakeholders in the African pharmaceutical and regulatory sector. It will also enable us to be involved in capacity building, which is key to improving access to herbal and natural medicines from Africa’s rich floristic heritage,” said Phillips.

Prof Katerere, TUT’s Research Platform Chair holder of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Advancement in Africa (PBA2), said PharmaConnect Africa was founded in 2016 and is a premier convenor of stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry in Africa. It works with industry, regulators and policymakers to promote increased access to medicines and health products across the continent. 

Prof Katerere, who has many publications to his name, will become joint editor of the new African Herbal Pharmacopeia 2nd edition (AfrHP2) and will take over managing the publishing contract that AAMPS presently has with Taylor & Francis, one of the world’s leading scientific publishing companies. 

“This can only be a win-win situation for both AAMPS and PCA. We have complimentary skills and connections, PCA’s regular training sessions and our contacts in the pharmaceutical industry and African regulatory agencies, will help open new doors for AAMPS. We are excited to have had our first joint meeting, a Cannabis Symposium, on 3 June 2021,” said Prof Katerere.

The Editors of AfrHP2 have recently been in sponsorship negotiations with leading suppliers of herbal medicines and health food products including HG&H Pharma, Nektium, Baia Foods, and Aduna. Technical support is provided by CAMAG.

“Collaborating with the HPTLC Association will help create representative fingerprints for Africa’s most important MAPs”, said Thomas Brendler, AAMPS founder and co- editor of the AfrHP.

“Since we started work on the AfrHP in the early 2000s, quality assurance of botanicals in trade has become paramount. At the same time, techniques and equipment for the phytochemical analysis of plants have improved dramatically. The analytical work will be shared between members of the HPTLC Association at CAMAG’s headquarters in Switzerland and the North-West University, South Africa, while Parceval Pharmaceuticals’ founder, Ulrich Feiter and long-term AAMPS supporter, will take charge of sourcing the plant samples required for fingerprinting.

*Pharmacopoeia is an official publication containing a list of medicinal drugs with their effects and directions for their use.

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