- As NAFDAC lists drug for general use
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has said that it is in the process of carrying out clinical studies on the efficacy of a drug regiment known as Niprimune for the treatment of Covid-19.
The Director General of NIPRD, Dr. Obi Adigwe, who disclosed this on Thursday during a facility tour by the Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, said that the institute has secured listing by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for safe consumption of Niprimune.
He said that NIPRD had leveraged on its discovery of the world class Vito medicine which is currently at phase two clinical trials to begin a process repurposing Niprimune as drug for treating Covid-19.
Adigwe, who personally opened a pack of the drug and took a tablet in full glare of the cameras, said: “A few hours ago, NAFDAC, after undertaking a rigorous test to ascertain and verify the safety of this product has now given this particular product a listing number. What this means is that I can now legally open this drug pack and take a tablet in your presence.”
Speaking further on the latest breakthrough by the institute, Adigwe said that the management was highly elated on the attainment of the feat.
Described as a well tested immune booster, Adigwe said Niprimune is also effective in the treatment of other infectious diseases.
He said that the product has been a low hanging fruit for sometime, adding that for it to get to the level where NAFDAC is using its own independent ISO certified laboratories to authenticate NIPRD’s data is an indication that the institute knows its work.
Adigwe said that getting to the level of product listing is the first stage in the work that lies ahead.
According to him, the next stage for NIPRD is to embark on clinical studies to prove that Niprimune is effective for the management of Covid-19.
The DG however lamented that the institute is unable to foot the bill for the clinical studies which will bring the product closer to getting scientific approval as drug for treatment of Vovid-19.
Speaking shortly after the inspection tour, Mamora said the institute has done very well.
However, Mamora said that activities at the country’s foremost pharmaceutical research institute is being hampered by inadequate funding.
He said that despite the funding constraints, the institute has been able to record impressive achievements in carrying out its core mandate of research.
The minister said that the ministry will be reaching out to individuals and the private sector to attract funding support to help the institute carry out effective research.
Mamora listed some of the observable challenges facing the institute to include poor power supply, dilapidated infrastructure and obsolete machineries.