The Department of Science and Technology, the South African Medical Research Council and Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceuticals company, will sign an agreement which is expected to boost the volume and quality of clinical trials conducted in the country.

The agreement will be signed by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, MRC Vice President, Prof Jeffrey Mphahlele and the Novartis South Africa Country President, Dr Thomas Kowallik, on Thursday, 25 May, at 08:30 in Parliament.

The signing ceremony will be attended by the Swiss Ambassador, HE Mrs Helene Budliger Artieda.

The aims of the agreement include the following:

  • Establishing a joint research programme in certain communicable and non-communicable diseases from drug discovery through preclinical and clinical development, building on the resource and infrastructure investment of South Africa and Novartis.
  • Collaboration in the area of precision medicine to improve patient care in Africa by getting patients on to the correct treatment.
  • Establishing and conducting scientific capacity and capability development programmes with the goal of building the research ecosystem in Africa.


The media are invited as follows:
Date:     Thursday, 25 May 2017
Time:    08:30 - 09:30
Venue: Committee Room 1, Parliament, Cape Town

RSVP:  David Mandaha at 072 126 8910 or Zama Mthethwa at 082 808 3956.

Enquiries: Lunga Ngqengelele at 082 566 0446

Issued by the Department of Science and Technology.