NIPRD develops 3 COVID-19 products, 10 others – Adigwe
By Hassan Zaggi
The Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Adigwe, has disclosed that the institute has developed and listed three COVID-19 products, while 10 other products are awaiting industry take up.
He disclosed this when receiving an award at the 24th Annual National Conference of the Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP), in Lagos, yesterday.
Dr. Adigwe and the NIPRD’s Head of Research and Development, Prof. Martins Emeje, were recognized with awards at the event for leading a new NIPRD which leverages on modern technologies to produce new products.
Some of the outstanding contributions included the innovative herbal cough tincture, the ultra-modern and first African nanomedicine centre which has already produced the first nano-engineered antimalarial product, as well as the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning – facilitated drug discovery and development centre.
Others contributions include the Bioavailability/Bioequivalence project and the completed proof of concept on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient and Excipients development geared towards ensuring Medicines Security in Nigeria.
Adigwe noted that while tropical diseases such as malaria remain a significant healthcare challenge, non-communicable and emerging diseases such as Ebola and COVID-19 were steadily rising in Nigeria and many African countries.
“NIPRD has already developed and listed 3 COVID-19 products while at least 10 other products were awaiting industry take up,” he revealed.
Dr. Adigwe, however, reassured that NIPRD under his watch remained committed to achieving health equity in Nigeria through Research and Development (R&D) for local drug production and medicine security.
This, according to him, informed the huge investment already deployed at NIPRD to having what he christened as the Africa’s most robust Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning project in Drug Discovery & Phytomedicinal Development.
This intervention, he said, will exponentially improve relevant outcomes, while conserving scarce resources in Nigeria’s research and development setting.
According to Adigwe, the recent infrastructure investment in Bioavailability and Bioequivalence was aimed at achieving high quality Nigerian products with the hope of dominating the continent once the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) picked up speed.
He called on experts in the pharmaceutical industry to partner with NIPRD’s Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and Excipients’ Value Chain Production Project.
The API project, he explained, is considered by many to be Africa’s most ambitious project geared towards ensuring Medicines’ Security and changing the contribution of the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry to the nation’s GDP from the current abysmally low value of less than 0.25% to at least, 30% in the next decade.