PANTHER’S Portfolio

Focusing on preparedness and response to address African patients’ research needs

PANTHER’S Portfolio

Focusing on preparedness and response to address African patients’ research needs

PANTHER’s five-year strategic plan aims to prepare (and, as required, respond) to up to five infectious diseases with epidemic/pandemic potential selected from the African public health priorities. 

Our portfolio is dedicated to developing, implementing, and sustaining a ready-to-use living clinical research platform which integrates research capacity in clinical care in Africa and revolves around 3 main areas of activity:

Core preparedness

Transversal area consisting of mapping, disease-agnostic operational preparedness (such as protocol templates, data collection system, regulatory preparation, and SOPs), legal, financial, and training activities which are applied to the other two areas of work specifically focused on diseases.

Disease-specific preparedness

This area involves TPP updates, scientific selection, protocol adjustments, regulatory pre-approval, infrastructure updates, disease-specific training, and coordination activities. The WHO (R&D Blueprint, EMRO, AFRO) and Africa CDC priority diseases form the basis for selecting disease areas for which the Platform should be prepared to respond and is based on COVID-19 and Ebola lessons learned.

  • Site preparedness activities are currently conducted for Lassa fever and mpox in countries reporting low cases.
  • Scientific and strategic preparedness is ongoing for flu.


This entails mobilising the platform for a disease-specific research for rapid response.

  • Response activities are currently conducted for mpox and COVID-19.


Lassa Fever

Lassa fever is one of the WHO R&D Blueprint priority diseases. This hemorrhagic fever is endemic in  Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria. Case fatality rates vary between 1 and 15%, as early diagnosis is critical with many viral diseases. A Platform clinical trial testing several therapeutic options is underway by the INTEGRATE Consortium in Nigeria, , the country reporting the highest number of cases annually. This work is being coordinated by Prof. Sylvanus. A. Okogbenin, leader of PANTHER’s Lassa Hub.

PANTHER with its partners (ALIMA and BNITM) will start exploring the needs and prepare one site in Guinea (Nzerekore or Gueckedou), in Liberia (Phebe hospital) and one other site in Nigeria (Abakaliki) whilst setting-up a mobile team to manage the sporadic and scattered cases in Benin.

For more information, see Lassa fever ( and Lassa Fever – Africa CDC

MOSA (Mpox)

Mpox (or monkeypox) is an illness caused by the monkeypox virus. It is a viral infection which spreads between people. In some settings, the virus can also be transmitted from infected wild animals to people who have contact with them.

As of October 2022, Mpox cases have been reported in several countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria. Usually, the disease resolves spontaneously without treatment or intervention, and the case fatality rate is between 3-6%. People with weaker immune systems are thought to be more vulnerable to severe forms of the disease (Monkeypox – Africa CDC). 

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls for the use of antivirals for the treatment of monkeypox cases. Tecovirimat is currently being studied in randomized clinical trials to collect evidence on its efficacy and safety rapidly. In Africa, PANTHER and its partners (including INRB, NDUTH, FCRM and othershave set up a platform adaptive trial in which various treatments will be evaluated – starting with Tecovirimat in outpatients, using the same ‘CORE protocol’ as the UNITY study. Data collected in MOSA will be shared with those from UNITY, and analyses will be shared with a common Data Safety Monitoring Board.


Marburg virus disease (MVD) is a WHO R&D Blueprint priority disease. It is endemic in several African countries, including Angola, DRC, Central African Republic, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania.

The average case fatality rate can be as high as 50%, but it usually ranges from 24% to 88%, showing the urgent need for early diagnosis. PANTHER is partnering with the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) and the Veterinary Services in Ghana to conduct a Marburg epidemiology study through the “Keeping sites warm” initiative.

As one of the countries that have reported the latest cases of MVD and a participant in the ANTICOV study, Ghana was the ideal candidate to pilot this novel approach. Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), the project aims to gather a detailed epidemiological profile of the Marburg virus and establish a significant collection of blood samples for future research. The sample analysis will be crucial for improving our knowledge of Marburg virus outbreaks.


Conducting thorough preparedness scientific activities (diagnostic, small molecules, ….) with a focus on patients at higher risk.