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SA-born billionaire is a man with a plan to solve Africa’s ...


SA-born billionaire is a man with a plan to solve Africa’s vaccine shortage

Bio-tech tycoon pledges to help Africa produce its own shots, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is

Janice Kew and Antony Sguazzin

South African-born US biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has spent the last year at home, but he’s not been idle. It’s given him the time to plot a way to help Africa produce its own vaccines.

ImmuntyBio, in which he is a part owner, has signed a deal with The BioVac Institute, a state-backed South African vaccine company, to manufacture coronavirus doses from scratch in the country. He’s also giving an initial R3bn to the nation of his birth to help pass on technology for Covid-19 shots and other therapies that can be exported around the continent.

The source of his mission can be traced back almost half a century, when he left SA as a newly-qualified physician to gain expertise he planned to bring back about five years later. Born in Gqeberha to China-born parents, he studied in Johannesburg and at the University of British Columbia before settling in Los Angeles...

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