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Article – Africa: An Advantageous Landscape For Conducting Clinical Trials

Africa has immense potential as an emerging market, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies have many avenues to leverage from Barc Lab’s African footprint for running clinical trials.

Accounting for nearly 17% of the global population, and representing a diverse population of potential patients, the African continent offers many of the best conditions for conducting clinical trials. Importantly, a number of diseases – particularly those defined as neglected and tropical – are endemic to the developing world, which includes Africa.

Despite all these advantages, Africa contributes to less than 3% of the number of clinical trials. The lack of infrastructure, cultural barriers and dedicated staff, and misunderstanding of requirements to work in the region, are simultaneously causing a burden to conducting clinical trials within Africa. However, Barc Lab believes that Africa offers an enormous opportunity for pharmaceutical and biotech companies searching for low-cost study sites, low risk of litigation and a diverse patient population. The latter makes Africa an ideal location for research, as the diseases of affluence and poverty are prevalent.

Moreover, the majority of patients to be potentially enrolled in clinical trials have not received any previous treatment for their disease – either because it is not available or they cannot afford it – facilitating patient recruitment to a great extent.

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