THE Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Lagos, has certified the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) Virucidine Liquid as safe and tolerable for use in the treatment of COVID-19.
The Virucidine Liquid was developed by researchers at ABUAD, following the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic that ravaged the world in 2020. The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Following its outbreak, millions were affected in Africa with almost 300,000 deaths.
Certifying the product during the evaluation presentation and book launch at the NIMR Main Auditorium in Yaba, Lagos, on Tuesday, Deputy Director of Research, NIMR, Dr Agatha David, said the Virucidine Liquid prescription was applied on COVID-19 victims in Ekiti and Lagos State to test its safety, tolerability and efficacy.
According to her, 44 males and non-pregnant females aged 18 and above with PCR-confirmed SARS-COV-2 infection in the last 72 hours were treated with the product at its study sites at NIMR office in Yaba, Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Metta, Mainland Hospital, Yaba and Oba Adejugbe Hospital, Ado-Ekiti.
Dr David said during the treatment, there was no report of averse events as the product was tolerable and acceptable, with greater tendency to clear COVID-19 between day three and day seven of treatment.
“ABUAD Virucidine shows promising results and should be further evaluated in a large phase 3 clinical trial to confirm efficacy and safety of the herbal product,” she certified.
Introducing the herbal product, the Director, Institute for Drug Research and Development (IDRD), S.E. Bogoro Centre, ABUAD, Professor Olaposi Omotuyi, said the ABUAD Virucidine Liquid was submitted for research at Centre for Research in Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CRTCAM) for acute and sub-acute toxicity study and also the NIMR for further testing.
He said the medicine composed of 85 percent Kalanchoe pinnata concentrate, traditionally used for the management of various ailments in southwestern Nigeria and reputed to have some antiviral activities; five percent ethanol and 10 percent deionised water.
According to him, the significance of the product is that Nigerians do not need to wait on the western world to solve their problems, especially as it concerns healthcare.
He said, “Everyone in the world was looking for a drug to cure COVID and Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, in Nigeria is one of the major universities that developed something for the virus. We gave it to research institutes to test it for us and that is what NIMR has done.”
He described the certification as a confirmation of the efficacy of research work ongoing in ABUAD, as he further assured that the university is ready to launch in massive scale, the production and distribution of the Virucidine Liquid.
Also speaking at the event, chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, Professor Adebukunola Adefunle-Ositelu, called for collaboration among scientists to develop Africa, adding that no western power will promote anything from Africa.
She said the ABUAD Virucidine Liquid came at a right time, adding that with more researches, Nigerian institutions would come up with drugs to cure our regional challenges.
Presenting the product and launching the book on Virucidine Liquid, the Director-General/CEO of NIMR, Professor Babatunde Salako, congratulated ABUAD on the feat and further challenged institutions to come up with solutions to some of the health challenges of the country.
The ABUAD team was led by Professor Ayodele Ajayi, member of the Board of Trustees in charge of Research.