Unijos injects 198m dollars into development of malaria drug

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Mafuyai told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Monday that the amount was from donors interested in the research of the drug.

According to him, Artemisia Annua is a plant used to produce Artemisinin, which is the major component of combination therapies known as Artemisin Combination Therapy (ACT), used worldwide in the treatment of malaria.

“ACT is currently adjudged the best solution to the increasing resistance of malaria parasite to anti-malaria drugs, hence our commitment to its production.

“With the university’s findings on ACT, what we have achieved in simple terms is the confirmation of the viability of the production of this wonder plant in Nigeria, where the malaria scourge is massive,’’ he said.

Mafuyai said that the research on Artemisa Annua began in April 2008, with a plantation on 1300 hectares at Gangim, Langtang South Local Government Area of Plateau.

“The dried leaves of Artemisa Annua have been tested by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development which confirmed that the Artemisinin contains 4.8 per cent of Artesinin weight by weight,’’ Mafuyai explained.

The vice-chancellor: said “this percentage is much higher than most strain of the plant grown in other parts of the world, such as China, India, East Africa and Island of Madagascar and which have been used for ACT.’’

He said that postgraduate students had focused their researches on areas covering aspects of the plant and recent innovations in the treatment of malaria disease.

Mafuyai, who said that the institution would partner with pharmaceutical companies for the production of the drug, called on corporate bodies and philanthropists to support the institution’s research work as it was capital intensive. (NAN)

In : Health