Ahead of the commencement of the Africa Development Bank’s (AfDB) African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), said it has fully galvanised resources and stakeholders to enable it play a pivotal role in the continental initiative.
Recall that during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute provided the internationally acclaimed analysis that underpinned many African Government’s categorical position on the Madagascan Covid Organics preparation.
NIPRD for the first time in Nigeria’s history constituted an interdisciplinary team of over 20 eminent and erudite Professors drawn from various universities and geopolitical regions to form the National Scientific Advisory Committee (NSAC) on the verification of claims by Practitioners.
NIPRD DG, Dr Obi Adigwe who convened the NSAC argued that the landmark achievement not only ensured that coronavirus cure claims are subjected to the highest international science, it also ensures that the highest relevant standards of safety and efficacy are maintained, in order to safeguard the lives of Nigerians.
The Institute also leveraged on its reputation as the first African Institute to develop a world class phytomedicine from drug discovery up to phase 2 clinical trials, to begin work on repurposing Niprimune, its flagship immunomodulatory agent for relevant clinical studies for COVID-19.
Earlier in the pandemic, NIPRD pioneered and strongly advocated indigenous manufacturing of hand sanitisers from locally sourced raw materials. The Institute notably concept produced its own brand of hand sanitisers and this has gone on to become famous for its high international quality.
NIPRD has also been involved as sponsor as well as technical partner to a number of ongoing Randomised Control Trials aimed at scientifically proving the efficacy of a number of conventional medicines currently at the Clinical Trials’ phase.
Under the current DG, the Institute’s workforce has been transformed into a world class agency, where every single confirmed staff has received laptops and tablets to optimise their respective activities.
Similarly, there has been a tenfold increase in local and foreign trainings for researchers and non-technical staff, which has no doubt significantly impacted on the quality of the Institute’s work and consequently improved access to relevant health and socioeconomic variables.
Evidence of this emerged, when despite the challenges of the pandemic, NIPRD retained its ISO 17025 certification through remote testing, making it the first in the region to accomplish this via this model.
The Institute had earlier emerged as the first in the region to gain both ISO 17025 and 9001, as well as being achieving Centre of Excellence status in several thematic areas.
NIPRD has also emerged as a continental leader in the conceptualisation of strong Pan-African initiatives, as well as the introduction of cutting edge technologies on the continent, such as the use of Nanotechnology and Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery.