Access Bio announced on Wednesday that it has obtained prequalification (PQ) approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its second factory in Ethiopia.
The company’s plant is the first factory to receive WHO’s PQ approval for a malaria diagnostic kit in Africa, Access Bio said.
WHO’s PQ is a system that assesses the safety and efficacy of products for international procurement of medicines and diagnostic products in underdeveloped countries. It evaluates not only the quality of the product itself but also the production process.
“In the case of our Ethiopia branch, the company had sold its product mainly in the private market of Ethiopia and other countries,” a company official said. “With the recent approval, however, the company can turn out products from large-scale biddings, which has, in turn, opened up the opportunity to expand our supply to all of Africa.”
The company plans to maximize competitiveness in the bidding market by using the geographical convenience of its Ethiopian branch by dramatically reducing transportation costs and shortening shipping lead times, he added.
The company established its Ethiopia branch in 2011 to reduce local production and delivery costs by cutting down on labor costs.
Access Bio is also establishing a production plant in Goryeong, North Gyeongsang Province, and is in the process of winning WHO’s PQ for malaria and HIV rapid diagnostic kit so that it can enter the public bidding market.