There is an urgent need for more sites in different geographical settings for testing new drugs and vaccines against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa. CANTAM, a network of five established and two developing institutions in Central Africa including one European country has been established for this purpose.
CANTAM aims at strengthening resources in Brazzaville (Congo) and Buea (Cameroon) to provide additional capacity to carry out future malaria and HIV/AIDS clinical Phase I, II and III trials in compliance with ICH/GCP standards.
The Medical research Unit of Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Gabon, the University of Yaounde1 and the Centre International de Reference Chantal Biya in Cameroon which have a vast experience in clinical research and are well equipped will serve as reference centers in Malaria and HIV/AIDS respectively and the Northern institution will provide their expertise in specific activities. A platform of training including academic courses, workshops and seminars will be instituted in collaboration with the Institute for Tropical Medicine of the University of Tübingen and will be open to other Central African institutions subject to the availability of funds. The Organisation de Coordination des Etats de l´Afrique Centrale (OCEAC) will serve as the coordinating institution and will provide specific support for entomology and molecular epidemiology of malaria. At the end of the period of three years, it is expect that the CERVE/GRBM and the University of Buea (Uni Buea) will attain a higher level that will permit their participation in regional multicentric clinical trials according to international guidelines.