The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has pledged support for the emergent African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation recently approved by the African Development Bank’s (AFDB) Board of Directors.
NIPRD’s Director-General, Dr Obi Adigwe, made this known in a statement issued on Wednesday in Lagos.
He stated that the Foundation would enhance Africa’s access to technologies that underpin the manufacture of medicines, vaccines, and other pharmaceutical products significantly.
Adigwe added that the NIPRD had galvanised resources and stakeholders to enable it to play a crucial role in the continental initiative.
According to him, the Foundation fully aligns with NIPRD’s objective of conceptualisation of strong pan-African initiative where it has recorded many strides, particularly since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“After the COVID-19 outbreak, NIPRD emerged as a huge contributor to the national and global response.
“NIPRD provided the internationally-acclaimed analysis that underpinned many African governments’ categorical position on the Madagascan COVID-19 organics preparation.
“This analysis went viral internationally with scientists and policymakers around the world referencing NIPRD’s seminal work on the product with their work; a multitude of lives on the continent were saved.
“Africa conserved millions of dollars that would otherwise have been expended on an unverified product, and research and development resources were prioritised for more effective solutions,’’ he stated.
The director-general added that NIPRD had been involved as sponsor and as technical partner in a number of control trials to scientifically prove the efficacy of some conventional medicines currently at clinical trial phase.
He stated also that the institution emerged as a continental leader in the use of nanotechnology and Artificial Intelligence in drug discovery.
He added that the institution played a seminal role in the articulation of the Medicines’ Security concept that links local manufacturing with access to healthcare and socioeconomic development.
This, he explained, was especially in areas of job creation, technology transfer and revenue generation.
“In June, the institute published a seminal article on the relationship between intellectual property rights and access to COVID-19 vaccines in the prestigious PLOS Global Public Health Journal.
“The publication emanated from the debate generated by a webinar convened by the institute when Africa which did not have manufacturing capacity was being denied equitable access to vaccines.’’ Adigwe stated.