The Innovation Hub Management Company (TIHMC) honoured Prof Anne Grobler with a Biotech Fundi Award.


Prof Anne receives Gauteng Biotech Fundi award


The uniquely South African word “fundi” aptly describes Prof Anne Grobler, director of the DST/NWU Preclinical Platform, who recently received a 2018 Biotech Fundi Award from The Innovation Hub Management Company.


Anne was honoured in the research category of the awards, held to recognise organisations and individuals who make a significant impact on the biotech sector in Gauteng.


“I want to commend the Gauteng Province on their generous gesture of reaching across provincial borders, especially since our partners are from various provinces and countries,” says Anne.


Prof Anne was honoured for her involvement in establishing two biotech companies, one of them being the Pheroid® Cluster Incubator.  (Click here to read more about her award.)


NWU launches first biotechnology manufacturing pod site

Time and again, the North-West University has shown itself to be a pioneer in various fields of expertise. The university has broken more new ground by launching the North West Province’s first biotechnology manufacturing pod site as part of the Pheroid® Cluster Incubator.

This manufacturing pod site was installed in Potchefstroom in February this year as part of the ALS Group’s new light industrial park next to the N12 highway. (The ALS Group are contractors for industries including plant hire, construction, and property development.)


The launch is a big step in the development of a local Pheroid®-based industry with significant potential for worldwide export.The manufacturing pod will serve as a product development and small-scale manufacturing platform for Pheroid®-based products and will share resources with other role players who are involved with Pheroid® technology.


The NWU’s own technology


The Pheroid® delivery technology underpins the effective delivery of chemical and biological compounds and molecules and is compatible with humans, animals and plants. The NWU is the patent holder of the various applications of the technology, which is protected by eight patents for different applications. These applications include medicines, lotions and creams, food supplements and cosmetics.


Government and NWU team up


The installation is the fruit of an 11-year development project which was funded and supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Technology Innovation Agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the NWU.


“This is an excellent example of government departments partnering with the industry and education sectors to develop home-grown technology into manufacturing initiatives that can stimulate the economy,” says Prof Anne Grobler, director of the DST/NWU Preclinical Platform.


She says the first commercial product based on the Pheroid® system is a bio-transporter for the delivery of macro and micro-nutrients in agriculture. “It is a very successful product which is already being exported to four continents.” There are also three cosmetic products in development, aside from two agricultural products already on the market.


Click here to read more about the manufacturing pod.




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Pheroid® ferries molecules


For any molecule to have an effect, it must reach the site of action in sufficient quantities across a number of biological barriers.


This is where the Pheroid® delivery system plays an important role. In the cosmetic industry, for instance, it is a skin-friendly carrier for cosmetic compounds with improved delivery and therapeutic efficacy of topically applied compounds.


With this in mind, the commercialisation of the first facial skin care and beauty range is currently progressing, with trials completed and the manufacturing and distribution network negotiations in process.




More information on the Pheroid® Cluster Incubator and the Pheroid® technology may be obtained from

NWU & U  |

NWU & U  |