A Nigerian Professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu, on Monday announced that he has discovered a potential cure for the novel Coronavirus.
Professor Iwu, who is a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), revealed this while briefing the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, alongside the Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and the Minister of State for Science and Technology, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi in Abuja.
According to the professor, “We have selected to focus on neglected tropical emergent diseases such as Leishmaniasis, Ebola virus, Dengue fever virus, Chikungunya virus, coronavirus, and Tacaribe virus.
“When the Ebola virus broke out in 2014, many Nigerians were surprised that we had an experimental lead compound that we identified in 1999.
“Now with the emergence of a novel coronavirus in 2019 as COVID 19, we have identified and patented a possible treatment back in 2015, it is very important that we must remain ahead of these emergent infections through research.
“On Thursday last week, the US Government contacted me and we signed a non-clinical evaluation agreement for us to take this product forward and we are trying to see how we can test this compound immediately against this new virus.
“They are trying set up so we can see if this particular one is inferior to SARS so that the programme will be able to go on.”
Professor Iwu continued that “We are considering developing the three products together so they become the first broad-spectrum antiviral agent coming out of Nigeria.
“We want to plead with you to appeal to Nigerians for their support so that we can develop our own medicine and have medicine for coronavirus instead of waiting and using that from other places.
“We are willing to make available, the lead compound which we have isolated.”