The board appointment is an important milestone in Afrigen’s growth trajectory, signaling the company’s evolution from a Cape Town-based startup to a key player in the health technology space, supported by a board chair of international repute.
Founded in 2014, Afrigen is a Cape Town-based biotechnology company initially focused on vaccine, adjuvants and nano-formulation product development and recently established the WHO global mRNA vaccine technology development and transfer Hub to build capacity and capabilities in LMICs to manufacturing mRNA vaccines. Afrigen is strategically directed, supported, and capitalised by Avacare Healthcare Group and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.
Selamoglu brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and industry expertise to the role. Highly regarded in the pharmaceutical field, he has held executive roles and board positions at, among others, GlaxoSmithKline, Frontier Pharma and Mustafa Nevzat / Amgen.
“The appointment of Levent Selamoglu to chairperson of the board is an important next step in Afrigen’s journey to becoming a vaccine and biologics product innovation brand with global reach and exposure. Not only does he bring a wealth of experience in biologics to the position, but also a calm and measured approach to innovation. His extensive experience in the functions of a vertically integrated biotechnology company will no doubt stand Afrigen in good stead as we step forward into the next growth phase,” says Professor Petro Terblanche, managing director at Afrigen.
Equally significant is the fact that Selamoglu understands the startup environment and the challenges that need to be managed in building Afrigen into a name on the cutting edge of biologics and product manufacturing - both on the African continent and beyond.
“Afrigen is ideally positioned - and, in fact, well on the way - to become an important international player in the biologics space and I’m delighted to be a part of that in my role as chairperson of the board. We have a mandate to deliver on a promise to address the unmet healthcare needs of low- and middle-income countries by building a vertically integrated sector that is self-sufficient and globally competitive, and I’m energized by the challenge,” Selamoglu shares.
Afrigen is committed to local capacity building through international partnerships to meet the essential healthcare needs of emerging economies.