Pheroid® Cluster Incubator Background

The central cohesive driver of the Pheroid Cluster Incubator is the Pheroid® drug delivery system, which is a South African developed technology that can be used to enhance the bioavailability of active ingredients for a wide range of applications.

The development of this system was funded and supported by the Departments of Science and Technology (DST), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the North-West University over the past 11 years. During this time, more than 80 masters and doctoral students in pharmacy-related sciences, including students at Swiss- and American-based universities, completed their postgraduate degrees by investigating a basic parameter or an application of the Pheroid® delivery system.  The training of the students not only provides South Africa with young people with scarce skills, but accumulates a dearth of knowledge about the system.

The first commercial product based on the Pheroid® system was a bio-transporter for the delivery of macro- and micro-nutrients in agriculture and the product is already being exported to four continents.  Recognizing an opportunity for product differentiation in a competitive environment, South African companies from a number of sectors have formed a cluster to investigate the use of Pheroid® in their own products and market development initiatives.  This commercialisation process is also supported by the South African Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).

The Cluster provides shared resources that will unlock the development of a local Pheroid®-based industry with significant potential for world-wide export.