Greetings! We’re excited to share the latest advancements and upcoming initiatives shaping the future of clinical research in Africa. This newsletter dives into key developments that will undoubtedly impact the continent’s research landscape. Let’s look back at some recent milestones and what’s on the horizon!

Impact Africa Summit 2023: Advancing Healthcare Through Collaborative Partnerships


The 4th annual Impact Africa Summit (IASPharma 2023) concluded in Lagos, Nigeria, leaving a significant mark on the future of healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa. Held from November 30th to December 2nd, the summit brought together over 300 attendees and 31 distinguished speakers in the medical and clinical research fields.

Themed “Strengthening an Emerging Sector in a Diverse Market through Local Partnership and Participation,” IASPharma 2023 emphasized the power of collaboration to drive progress. Experts tackled challenges and explored innovative solutions in clinical trials, shaping a brighter future for African healthcare.

The three-day in-person program offered a rich and engaging experience:

Day One: A scientific conference focused on the critical area of hematology, with a particular emphasis on sickle cell disease.

Breakout Sessions: Interactive sessions delving into various aspects of the medical research and clinical trial pipeline.

Gala Night: A celebration recognizing industry leaders, researchers, and innovators for their dedication and exceptional contributions to research and development, ultimately reforming Africa’s healthcare landscape.


DAY ONE: Keynote, Panel Sessions, and Abstract Presentations

The summit’s first day, kicked off with a focus on collaborative innovation. This theme resonated throughout the day’s three key segments:


Fostering Partnerships for a Thriving Market: Leading authorities such as Professor Akin Abayomi, Honourable Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, and Dr. Oyebanji Filani, Honourable Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Ekiti State, along with Adebukunola Telufusi, the Convener, discussed the vibrant potential of Africa’s healthcare landscape. Discussions emphasized the critical role of collaboration and partnerships between public and private sectors, highlighting the need for an ecosystem approach to financing healthcare, community engagement, local manufacturing, and Africa-led research and development. A robust regulatory framework was also identified as a key pillar for success.

Clinical Research and Patient Advocacy: Experts delved into ongoing initiatives and partnerships in clinical research and patient advocacy. Emphasis was placed on the importance of political will, maintaining a balance between research timelines and quality, and ensuring inclusive research that benefits diverse populations. Collaboration between governments, patient advocacy groups, and the pharmaceutical industry was seen as crucial for progress.

Entrepreneurship and Data-Driven Decisions: The final segment explored the importance of adapting innovations to various African settings, fostering agility and continuous learning among stakeholders. Discussions highlighted the power of data analytics in supporting informed decision-making across the healthcare ecosystem.

Day 1 Topic Overview:


  • Clinical Trials in Africa: Emerging growth, emerging businesses.
  • Clinical Research as a vehicle to expanding Universal Health Coverage and the Role of stakeholders.
  • A case study of the African Space: Health knowledge, Diversity, and Market (spotlighting Xcene in bridging the gap in haematology therapeutic space).
  • Leveraging Clinical Trials for Advancing Health Innovation and Improving Patient Outcomes.
  • Investing in Training and Capacity Building to Strengthen Clinical Research Capabilities in Africa (Xcene Research Academy)

Panel Sessions

  • Cross-examining the African Terrain: Current malaria treatment trends and future hope for vaccination.
  • Enhancing Regulatory Frameworks for Clinical Trials in Africa: Ethically Balancing Global Standards with Local Realities.

DAY TWO: Deep Dives and Collaboration Across the Spectrum

Building on the momentum of Day One, the summit’s second day delved deeper into five key pillars critical to strengthening Africa’s clinical trial landscape:


Integrated Health Systems: Discussions explored the importance of building interconnected healthcare systems for seamless patient care and research integration.

Market Access Strategies: Experts tackled strategies for navigating market access hurdles and ensuring clinical trial accessibility across diverse African markets.

Harmonizing Clinical Trial Regulations: Collaborative efforts towards harmonizing clinical trial regulations across African nations were a central focus, aiming to streamline the research process.

Advocacy: A Powerful Voice: The day championed the role of advocacy in fostering awareness and amplifying the needs of patients and researchers within the clinical trial landscape.

Expanding Laboratory Systems and Networks: Enhancing access to robust and interconnected laboratory infrastructure was identified as crucial for supporting clinical trial success.

Highlight: The Power of Partnership in Advancing Sickle Cell Research
A captivating symposium on hematology, co-hosted with the Academy for Sickle Cell and Thalassemia (ASCAT), underscored the power of partnership in tackling critical health challenges. ASCAT shared valuable learnings from their 2023 conference, sparking discussions on disease pathogenesis, emerging therapies, and the psychosocial impact of sickle cell disease. The importance of newborn screening protocols and ongoing research in stem cell and gene transplantation were also highlighted, emphasizing the need for continued exploration and collaboration to improve patient outcomes.



  • Addressing Inequities in Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Management
    A rationale approach to treat sickle cell disease with a pill
  • Partner Session: Lessons from ASCAT 2023 Conference
  • Cellular therapies- Stem cell transplant: controversies and failures

Panel Session

  • Patient Advocacy Session: A case for Advocacy: Severe complications of SCD and its impact on Quality of Life to warriors and their families.


The summit’s second day featured a dedicated symposium on Nephrology, focusing on a critical area: Apolipoprotein 1 (APOL1) and its connection to Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The Nigerian Association of Nephrology provided expert representation, ensuring a deep dive into this important topic.

Following the symposium, an engaging open forum tackled the challenge of clinical trial recruitment and participation. Representatives from patient advocacy groups and individuals with live experiences shared their perspectives.


  • Q&A session highlighting Africa’s readiness for clinical trials
  • Treatment of APOL-1 Mediated Kidney Disease: Hope on the Horizon
  • FSGS Awareness in Sub-Saharan Africa

Regulatory Affairs


The first part of the forum featured presentations from esteemed speakers, offering valuable insights on key regulatory issues. This was followed by interactive panel discussions, where participants brainstormed strategies for strengthening regulatory frameworks within the region. In focus was – Siera Leone, Liberia, Uganda and Zambia.

Shaping the Future Through Alignment:


The second panel discussion focused on aligning clinical trial regulations across Sub-Saharan Africa. By exploring successful frameworks from different countries, participants aimed to shape a more streamlined and efficient future for clinical research on the continent.

This collaborative approach, combining expert presentations with open discussions, fostered a productive exchange of ideas and strategies for strengthening the region’s regulatory environment.

Clinical Operations


A breakout session packed with experienced speakers from the medical and clinical research fields offered in-depth knowledge and addressed critical questions on various aspects of research. Discussions centered on the importance of R&D, project measurement, and effective clinical and medical monitoring. Participants, including those with expertise in quality assurance, medical monitoring, and project management, actively engaged in the session, creating a valuable exchange of ideas.

Topics revolved around – Measurement metrics, medical monitoring and oversight of clinical investigators.



The laboratory workshop tackled key challenges and opportunities for transforming African clinical research labs. Discussions focused on:

Harnessing Global Collaboration: Exploring how international partnerships can address existing issues.

Regulatory Alignment: Strategies for creating a harmonized regulatory framework across Africa.

Building Local Expertise: Enhancing skills and capacity of researchers and lab scientists to promote self-sufficiency.

Other areas discussed pertained to Frameworks for partnership, specialization and service outsourcing.

Patient Advocacy


A dedicated forum brought together advocacy groups, patients, and healthcare professionals in hematology and nephrology. The focus? Boosting patient participation, awareness, and inclusive representation in African clinical trials. Engaging discussions with key representatives from various advocacy groups fostered collaboration to improve patient outcomes and promote diversity in research.

Topics also spoke to cultural and linguistic barriers in recruitment and public health advocacy.

DAY THREE: Awards and Gala Night


The third and final day of the Impact Africa Summit was an opportunity for participants to network and exchange ideas in an informal setting. It was also a forum to acknowledge, recognize and celebrate organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions in advancing the medical research industry and driving overall health improvement for Africans.

Looking Ahead

As we reflect on the resounding success of IAS 2023, we extend our gratitude to all participants, speakers, and sponsors who contributed to this transformative event. Your involvement has propelled us closer to a future of equitable healthcare innovation in Africa.

Stay tuned for updates and insights from the Impact Africa Summit. We eagerly anticipate continued collaboration as we pave the way for a healthier, more inclusive future.

For more information and further engagement opportunities, visit www.impactafricasummit.org


Corporate Information

The IAS PHARMA 2024 is organized by Xcene Research, an African Contract Research Organization committed to providing clinical trials access to a more diverse population in Africa.

Contact Address

Xcene Research Corporate Office
1 Ogunsiji Close, S&B Tejuosho Estate, Allen Avenue Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria

Impact Africa Summit

Email: info@impactafricasummit.org

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