Joint venture between Unimed and the Japanese GCube to produce rapid diagnostic tests

Joint venture between Unimed and the Japanese GCube to produce rapid diagnostic tests

The Japanese Ambassador to Tunisia Shinsuke Shimizu said ten days ago: No financial envelope was awarded to Tunisia during the eighth edition of Tokyo’s International Conference on African Development (Ticad 8) and Japanese private sector investors will choose the best projects and the best climate. for their investment in Africa.

Unimed Laboratories has thus been able to excel and attract private Japanese investors, the company GCube, to a joint venture to produce rapid diagnostic tests for Covid-19 and other diseases. A project whose cost is estimated at almost 2 million dinars for Unimed (installations, rooms, extra equipment and more). It is the only African pharmaceutical laboratory that acquires this technological transfer and benefits from this know-how. Also proof of the Tunisians’ skills and know-how in the pharmaceutical field.

This partnership will enable the company to manufacture and sell in Tunisia and other countries rapid diagnostic test kits, based on the detection of antigen and antibodies (IgM / IgG) by Covid-19, developed by GCube. It will later be extended to the development of rapid test kits for diagnosing other diseases and other health applications.

The success of this partnership will open up other opportunities for Tunisian-Japanese cooperation in innovative and groundbreaking areas.

Thus, a signing ceremony was held on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at the company’s headquarters in Kalaâ Kebira (Government of Sousse), to concretize this Tunisian-Japanese partnership.

Several prestigious guests were present, including the Japanese Ambassador to Tunisia Shinsuke Shimizu, the Director General of the Japanese Company GCube Kenji Nishimura, the President of the Japanese Association for Economic Development of Africa (Afreco) Tsuro Yanote, the President of the Tunisian-Japanese Trade Union. and Chamber of Industry Hédi Ben Abbes, Director General of the National Drug Control Laboratory Chiheb Ben Rayana, CEO of IHE Group Slaheddine Hallara, Director Espita Hana Aouinet Dhahri and their host and Director General of Unimed Ridha Charfeddine.

Unimed was selected on the basis of objective criteria based on its expertise in the pharmaceutical industry, its high level of quality, its international positioning and its transparent management. The aim of this partnership is to build a competitive and sustainable industrial system in the healthcare sector based on technology transfer and strengthening of Tunisia’s capacity to meet current and future world market needs. GCube will provide Unimed with the hardware as well as its expertise and know-how. Unimed will invest in premises, staff training and other utilities. The joint venture will be 50% / 50% between the two parties, Mr Cherfeddine said, emphasizing that the special thing about this project is that Unimed will manufacture this test completely, from start to finish. It will allow the employment of fifteen to twenty persons per. team depending on sales and needs beyond control.

It is a fair and interesting partnership for both parties. We are proud that this Japanese company has chosen Unimed for this partnership. The most interesting thing is that the Japanese have treated us as a partner and have transferred all their know-how to the production of the tests and the mastery of this technology, which will open up the development of other tests. said Unimed’s CEO.

Unimed is responsible for the manufacture of pilot batches and industrial batches, carries out the necessary studies for the granting of manufacturing and marketing authorizations for these kits and obtaining the necessary certifications (ISO 13485 and CE marking). The “Made in Tunisia” kits manufactured by Unimed will be on display during the Ticad 8 meeting, which will take place in Tunis on 27 and 28 August 2022.

Ridha Charfeddine also told Business News that the pilot batches were prepared in three to four weeks, which surprised the Japanese.

By August, the file will be ready, we will have the necessary permits as soon as possible to market these products in Tunisia and for export. “, he argued.

Another partnership project between Unimed-Espita and GCube has been announced to create a medical research and development incubator with the aim of building capacity in IVD (in vitro diagnostic) technology for various epidemics from Covid-19 and manufacturing other medical devices. This startup illustrates Unimed’s openness to its university environment to promote research results. It enters into its role of society.


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