Our Leadership

DR SKHUMBUZO NGOZWANA
(PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER)

Dr Ngozwana has over 20 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare space. His earlier role was that of President of Serenus Biotherapeutics, a company he co-founded. He is the current Chairman of Biovac, a South African vaccine manufacturer (and a Public Private Partnership).

He is an international expert on the African Pharmaceutical industry, who has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United States Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) among others. As the International lead consultant for UNIDO, Dr Ngozwana co-authored the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa that was adopted by the African Union heads of state and government in 2012.

The plan was the output of the extensive research and analytical work he conducted on the African pharmaceutical industry. His recent UN assignment was as part of an expert team of three appointed to develop the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Sector Strategy and Action Plan. This document was adopted by the Ethiopian government as a blueprint for developing the Ethiopian sector; and is now incorporated into the Ethiopian Growth and Transformation Plan II. 

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Prior to his consulting career, he worked for Cipla Medpro as its Deputy Chief Executive Officer. He is passionate about the development of the African pharmaceutical industry; access to quality assured medicines on the continent and has made significant contributions in developing the Industry. Some of his contributions include the following: He is the chairman of the board of Directors of the Biovac Initiative (a South African Vaccine manufacturer – and a Public Private Partnership).

He served as Chairman of the National Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of South Africa, and led the NAPM into the International Generic Medicines Alliance (IGPA). He is the founding chairman of the Southern African Generic Medicines Association; and founding member of the Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (FAPMA); both of which he continues to serve as a board member. He is a former member of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Biosciences Research Advisory Panel.

As part of a key group of African Pharmaceutical executives, he has been intimately involved in efforts to lobby and engage multilateral organizations and the international global health community on behalf of African pharma, including:

  • UN Secretary-Generals High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines – Thought Leaders Forum. Johannesburg, South Africa. 16 March 2016. “Perspectives on local pharmaceutical production in Africa”.
  • UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board Meeting, Geneva. Switzerland. 28 October 2015. “The Power of Partnerships for Implementation, Innovation and Equity’’.
  • World Health Summit, Berlin, Germany. 13 October 2015. “Ensuring Access to Affordable Essential Medicines and Health”.
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Industrial Development Board Meeting, Vienna, Austria. November 24th, 2010. “Challenges and Potential of local pharmaceutical production in Southern Africa: role & possible contributions by a regional business membership organization”.
  • African Leaders Malaria Alliance. Nairobi Kenya, May 31st, 2011. “Consultation on Challenges Faced by Africa-based Manufacturers of Pharmaceuticals and other health products”.

As a thought leader, he has been invited to share his extensive knowledge on various topics on African pharma at leading local and international pharmaceutical and public healthcare conferences and key stakeholder engagement platforms. He brings a nuanced understanding of the African and global pharmaceutical industry, and a global network of contacts with key stakeholders including national medicine regulators, procurement boards and pharmaceutical manufacturers; and within international pharma companies and across various global public health organizations (e.g. WHO, USP, UNAIDS, Global Fund, UNITAID, Gates Foundation, African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization initiative etc.) at senior executive level.

Dr Ngozwana holds qualifications in Medicine, Medical Pharmacology and Business Administration.

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Moosa Areff
(Chief Operating Officer)

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Mr Areff has 17+ years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical industry. He is the former Chief Operating Officer at Serenus Biotherapeutics, where he successfully set up (among others) a Pan-African platform and the appointment of Agents/ Distributors. He is also the former CEO at Sonke Pharma and Executive Head of Business Development at Cipla South Africa, where he signed up multiple in-licensing deals with companies in Europe, South America and India. Mr Areff was the former Sub-Sahara African (SSA) executive for Aspen Pharmacare and launched Viread and Truvada across SSA, driving sales to > $100 million in 18 months. As Export Executive at Betabs South Africa, he successfully introduced Betabs’ products into Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Mr Areff has intimate knowledge of the funded environment and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) sector, having worked in ARV Access for Africa, a Dutch NGO.

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Andrew De Pao
(Chief Business Officer)

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Mr De Pao has 17+ years’ experience in Global Pharma Marketing, Business Development and Healthcare Communications. Previously, he held the role of Chief Business Officer at Serenus Biotherapeutics, setting up and implementing a Pan-African Healthcare company. He was responsible for multiple in-licensing deals for Serenus Biotherapeutics, including with Hanmi Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., one of Korea’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Mr De Pao was a former Consultant at Publicis Global Healthcare Communications Group. He was also the former Head of Marketing, Prescription Division and Biosimilar Commercial Lead for Cipla South Africa.

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Dr Mothobi Godfrey Keele PhD
(Director, Corporate Affairs and Strategic Alliances)

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Dr Keele is a qualified pharmacist with 13 years’ experience in pharmaceutical quality systems, senior management, regulatory affairs and academia. He previously worked with the Medicines Control Council (MCC) and the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) as an external evaluator and assessor, respectively. Dr Keele has handled a number of prestigious projects (e.g. FDA certification / accreditation) on behalf of JSE listed companies in pharma. He was appointed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to provide executive support to the board of the Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers. He serves on the executive committees of the Southern African Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs Association (SAPRAA), and Southern African Generic Medicines Association (SAGMA).

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Karen De Klerk
(Director, Marketing)

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Mrs De Klerk has 20 + years in the Pharmaceutical industry. She previously held the role of Commercial Marketing Director for Serenus Biotherapeutics, setting up the Sub-Saharan Marketing platform; Congress Management and bespoke Product Launches and Training. Prior to that she served as Marketing Manager for the Respiratory Division at Cipla South Africa, and was instrumental in introducing Customer Centric Programmes and growing the Respiratory Portfolio. Mrs De Klerk formally held Product Management roles in Consumer Health (OTC and OTC Prescription), Anti-infectives, Gastrointestinal diseases and Female Health. She has extensive market experience in roles of increasing responsibility in Sales covering various therapeutic segments including Critical Care Nutrition; Cardiovascular diseases; CNS; Men’s Health; Neuroscience and Rheumatology.

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Bilkis Mia

(Director, Special Projects)

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Mrs Mia is a qualified pharmacist and has 16+ years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry spanning Quality Assurance to Regulatory Affairs.  She is the former Director, Head of Regulatory Affairs, at Serenus Biotherapeutics (Pty) Ltd, where she instrumentally spearheaded a steady regulatory platform for sub-Saharan registrations.  She previously held the role of Regulatory Affairs Department Manager at Cipla South Africa where she contributed to the launch of many first-to-market products.  Mrs Mia is conversant with the regulatory environments across multiple territories and understands the various and evolving regulatory spheres on the African continent.

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Fuaad Bhayat

(Director, Strategic Alliance)

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Mr Bhayat is now Head of Operations at Pharmatique (Pty) Ltd, a boutique healthcare company that specialises in OTC medication to South Africa’s emerging markets, and recently acquired by Kiara. With just over 17 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr Bhayat started his career at Be Tabs Pharmaceuticals and was later tasked with setting up the Tibb Consumer Division for the same company. Previous roles included head of Sales and Marketing of Canova and Modul8 Immune System Enhancers which both became leading products in their categories, as well as National Sales Manager roles at SANDOZ, and Pharmachem, an Ascendis Healthcare Company.

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Haroun Geyer

(Responsible Pharmacist / Head of Quality Assurance)

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Mr. Geyer is a qualified pharmacist with more than 20 years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry, with extensive experience in the private hospital, retail, distribution and production sectors. His employment as a practicing pharmacist in the United Kingdom and Middle East provided him with valuable exposure to international pharmaceutical standards and quality systems.

Mr. Geyer previously occupied senior management positions such as Responsible Pharmacist for United Pharmaceutical Distributors, QA Director for Cipla Medpro SA and Head of Quality for Serenus Biotherapeautics.

Mr. Geyer has a successful proven track record for the development and implementation of Quality Management Systems and ensures that quality assurance and compliance activities are maintained and aligned with global best practices. His vision and contribution as an accredited GMP, ISO 9001 and 13485 auditor provides essential governance for the business relating to compliance with the mandatory GMP and ISO standards.

As a certified Lean and Six Sigma Green Belt professional, he uses this methodology with the objective to improve the company’s revenue by streamlining and creating efficient processes so that the organization can deliver quality products and services, highly satisfied customers with increased profitability for the business in the long-term.

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Dr Sharon Wanjala

(Country Lead, East Africa)

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Dr Wanjala is a qualified medical doctor with a Bachelor of Surgery and Medicine from the University of Nairobi. She also holds a Masters in Health Economics and Policy from the University of Nairobi. Dr Wanjala recently worked as a Regional Medical Director at Serenus Biotherapeutics for the East Africa region. Prior to this, she worked as a Medical Advisor at Sandoz (the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis) for the East Africa region. Dr Wanjala has practiced as a GP in both private and public sectors. She has also worked as a Branch Manager at AAR Health care where she was instrumental in setting up one of the clinics.

Dr Wanjala is an experienced and versatile medical professional whose capabilities have developed while working in various sectors (Government, pharmaceuticals, and private health sector) at various stages including: establishment, growth etc.

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Marilize Odendaal

(Sales Manager)

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Ms Odendaal has 18+ years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry. She previously worked in Sales for Lilly, Roche Diagnostics, Cipla South Africa and Serenus Biotherapeutics. In her roles, the therapeutic areas covered include Diabetes, CNS, Osteoporosis, Erectile Dysfunction, Oncology, Anti-infectives, Cardiovascular and Respiratory. She completed certification courses in Diabetes and Respiratory.

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Prakash Chetty
(Regulatory Manager, Special Projects)

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Prakash Chetty is a qualified pharmacist with ± 10 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He graduated from Rhodes University with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree and thereafter completed Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutics. He has extensive experience in the various fields of industrial pharmacy, having previously worked for Aspen, Hoffmann-La Roche, Aurobindo and Cipla. He is currently considered a technical specialist in regulatory affairs and quality assurance with further interests in risk management, financial and cost accounting, where he holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree.

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Candice Nettle

(Head of Creative Design)

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Mrs Nettle has 13+ years’ experience in Pharmaceutical Creative Marketing and Pharmaceutical Packaging Design. She previously held the role of Creative Design Head at Serenus Biotherapeutics, designing and implementing Pan-African creative marketing and packaging projects. Mrs Nettle was the former Head Designer and Design Studio Manager at Cipla South Africa. She won an international award for a pharmaceutical pack design in 2016.

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