Sumitomo Chemical venture builds African R&D lab
Vector Health continuing malaria prevention work
Vector Health International, a joint venture between Sumitomo Chemical and an A-Z Textile Mills Group company based in Arusha, Tanzania, has set up an R&D laboratory called the Africa Technical Research Centre (ATRC). This is Sumitomo Chemical’s first research facility in Africa. It is currently hiring researchers from within Tanzania and its neighboring countries and will soon start operatoins.
The ATRC will mainly conduct efficacy trials, development and analysis of vector control - limiting the spread of diseases such as malaria and yellow fever that are transmitted by mosquitoes and other insects. About 90% of all cases of malaria occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
This R&D will take place alongside continuing production of the Olyset Net, an insecticidal mosquito net for malaria prevention, which was developed using Sumitomo Chemical proprietary technology and was the first long-lasting insecticidal net to be endorsed by the WHO. Vector will also be working to develop a new type of insecticidal net that addresses the growing problem of resistance to pyrethroid insecticides.
In addition, the ATRC will be working to develop agricultural products geared specifically to African countries, such as netting for crops, based on Sumitomo Chemical’s advanced technological expertise and know-how. It will, Vector said, “contribute importantly to accelerating early development of new products by conducting on-the-spot efficacy trials, development and analysis in the African environment where products are actually used”.
Separately, Sumitomo Chemical Italia, the firm’s Italian subsidiary, has signed a non-exclusive distribution contract with Nufarm, which comes into effect on 1 August. This will enable Sumitomo Chemical Italia to access Nufarm Italia's crop protection portfolio for crop uses in Italy, except for seed treatment, while supporting Nufarm’s revenues of branded product sales there. Italy is one of 19 countries in which the two firms have had distribution collaborations since concluding a capital tie-up in April 2010.