NIMR affirms ABUAD herbal drug, Virucidine Liquid, cures 44 COVID-19 patients
The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) has disclosed that the Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) Virucidine Liquid has cured 44 COVID-19 patients, a feat lauded in the country’s efforts in providing local solutions in its healthcare system.
Director-General (DG) of NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Salako, who spoke at the evaluation presentation of the herbal drug, produced by ABUAD on Tuesday at the institute’s auditorium in Lagos, said the product, which had been approved by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for human consumption, shows promises for “safety, efficacy and tolerability “ on human beings.
With this development, ABUAD has become the first university in Africa and the second in the world – after University of Oxford – to develop medication for the prevention and cure of COVID-19.
Indeed, the study showed that the herbal drug cured the 44 participants within three days and “may also prevent COVID-19 if taken as prophylaxis.”
NIMR DG said the herbal drug, which had been subjected to scientific scrutiny and successfully passed the first two levels of tests, would encourage the institute to go further in studying its efficacy on larger number of COVID-19 patients.
“It is therefore recommended that ABUAD Virucidine Liquid be further studied in a large phase 3 clinical trial to confirm efficacy and safety of the herbal liquid.
“The dearth of COVID-19 cases in the country necessitated a reduction in the sample size. To ameliorate this, the study period was increased by more than 100 per cent to enable recruitment of 44 participants for the study.
“We may need up to 1,000 patients at this level, but the number of index cases has radically reduced in Nigeria and this may lead us to externalise our research work to countries where the pandemic is still ravaging,” he said.
Salako said funding had been a major challenge to the institute and lauded ABUAD for providing funding for the research.
Also affirming the efficacy of the herbal drug, representatives of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute Metta, Mainland Hospital, Lagos and Oba Adejuigbe Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, said COVID-19 patients that participated in the study were treated within three days.
While Dr. Bolawale Abimbola of Mainland Hospital said five COVID-19 patients that participated in the study were cured of the pandemic by the herbal drugs, Prof. Ayodeji Ajayi and Prof. Idowu Omotuyi, who led the research team, said the herbal drug was a response to the clarion call by the founder of the university, Aare Afe Babalola, that the institution must provide local solution to the pandemic that killed millions of people worldwide.