Pathogen Economy

Pathogen economy focuses on making, selling and use of goods and services related to the prevention, control and treatment of damage due to pathogens. It includes research, development, technology transfer, and commercialization of innovations targeting pathogen control and management such as vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, and the attendant ecosystem. The following has been achieved:



  1. Our strategy is to develop capacity for end-to-end development, manufacturing and distribution of Vaccines for animals and humans.
  2. We are supporting the establishment of a manufacturing line for our locally developed anti-tick vaccine by Makerere University at Alfasan, Namanve. We expect to conduct a trial production in October 2022 and start the field trial at Ngoma farm by November 2022.
  • Our local Research and Development effort in human vaccines is making progress. One of our candidate vaccines has completed animal trials, and two from UVRI are undergoing purification so that they are ready for animal trials. We have initiated R&D for vaccines targeting other prevalent diseases in Uganda and the continent.
  1. To complete the vaccine development cycle, we need to set up a pilot vaccine manufacturing plant. NEC has allocated us 50 acres of land in Nakasongola for the Science and Technology Park. This is where we shall construct the pilot vaccine manufacturing plant.
  2. We have undertaken multiple engagements to enshrine Uganda among the internationally recognized vaccine research, development, and manufacturing countries:

International Vaccine Initiative (IVI). IVI is an independent, nonprofit, international organization, under the United Nations, with a Head Office in South Korea. It works to support all aspects of vaccine development and commercialization.  We applied and have been approved to join the IVI. The IVI membership will enable us to fast-track our transition into a vaccine development hub for Africa, with globally acceptable quality assurance. They have already trained for us three of our scientists in the vaccine industry.

Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM). This Africa-CDC led initiative aims to unblock Africa’s potential to scale sustainable vaccine development, manufacturing and distribution in partner states. Uganda has been recognized as a member and is working to become the hub for vaccine research, development, manufacturing, and distribution for the Eastern Africa. It is important to note that currently, Uganda is the only country pursuing end-to-end (from idea to commercialization) among all the current members. Others are simply focusing on putting up fill-and-finish units for COVID RNA vaccines.

We have advanced our discussions for collaboration with the United Republic of Tanzania in the area of vaccine development.


  1. We have also developed multiple diagnostic tools in collaboration with Makerere University and JCRC. So far, four (4) indigenous Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) and PCR diagnostic kits have been developed and are waiting mass production.
  2. We have started R&D for diagnostics for diseases other than COVID-19 as well as diseases for animals and plants.
  3. Setting up the diagnostic manufacturing complex was delayed for 2 years due to complexities of acquiring land. We are happy to report that in August 2022, the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development and Ministry of Works and Transport supported us to secure five acres for our first diagnostics factory. With this facility, we will be able to locally manufacture diagnostics for human, animal, and plant diseases.


  1. Working with Dr. Nambatya and a team of experts from Mulago and Makerere University, we completed the first ever clinical trial of our natural therapeutics in Uganda (UBV 10N). Although the results for the product against COVID-19 were not conclusive, this project gave us the launchpad for unlocking the pathway for our natural therapeutics to go through formal evaluation and accreditation both nationally and internationally.
  2. We have established an innovative Ugandan initiative (and the first-ever on the Continent), called Clinical Trials on Natural Therapeutics (CONAT). This is a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary programme to enable Uganda conduct credible clinical trials on multiple therapeutics, taking into consideration our unique context. We already have an approved standardized protocol and framework for testing our drugs. Currently, 2 products have been enrolled and several are being prepared to enter the pipeline.

Research Infrastructure:

  1. Over the past 2 years, over 600 specialized equipment have been procured to support R&D and manufacturing of vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics & other products to fight COVID-19 & other diseases.
  2. Four national central facilities have been set up to support R&D in the areas of vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics and other areas. These are:
    1. A BSL3 laboratory animal house at College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity to conduct in-vivo studies;
    2. Biobank at School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University where samples for patients are stored to support R&D;
    3. A Centre for Invitro Studies at UVRI where our candidate drugs and antibodies induced by vaccine candidates are tested for efficacy against target pathogens;
    4. The Biomarker facility located at COVAB, Makerere University consists of state-of-the-art equipment that supports predictive molecular analysis of patients to guide diagnostics and therapy. Using this facility, we can predict very early which individuals are likely to have severe disease so they are appropriately handled;
    5. Following a Cabinet Resolution, we initiated the process of establishing a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer facility. This facility will enable us detect unique molecules in our natural therapeutics to give advantage for development of new drugs. In addition, it will support testing for pollutants in food, water and air. It will also support our mineral beneficiation especially testing for rare earth minerals and many more industrial applications. We have established the application scope and market needs, technical and infrastructural requirements, and cost estimates. We shall begin a phased implementation of the facility in January 2023.
  3. Support to Private Sector Initiatives in the areas of animal and human drugs and vaccines development has enabled the country to build manufacturing capacity. The plan is as much as possible to channel the manufacturing of drugs and vaccines to these established facilities.