The Moroccan Association for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research (MASCIR) is set to commercialize the first African-manufactured kits to detect breast cancer and leukaemia.
This development will cut costs and waiting times for patients in Morocco and Africa, and also reduce the continent’s dependency on pharmaceutical imports.
An estimated 70% of pharmaceutical products and 99% of vaccines are imported in Africa.
MASCIR is a branch of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University that has been carrying out research on the kits since 2010, as the Leukaemia tests have been tested on 400 people in Morocco.
Hassan Sefrioui, an Executive board member at MASCIR said “the price of the kit can be double that of what it would cost to manufacture it locally which takes a long process and can take weeks or months for the kits to arrive”.
Usually, diagnosis for such diseases used to take a long time as samples are needed to be sent to France for analysis prolonging and delaying treatment, Sefrioui said “but with locally manufactured test kits, we can get results within hours”.
Also MASCIR developed Covid diagnostic kits during the pandemic. These diagnostic kits were sold in Senegal, Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda.
Sefrioui added that the cancer tests could also be available to those countries.