No evidence Madagascar drug can treat coronavirus – NIPRD chief

The herbal medicine developed by Malagasy Institute of Applied Research and branded COVID-Organics, contains Artemisia - a plant on the Island used in the fight against malaria.

Director General of National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, NIPRD, Dr Peter Adigwe, has said that analysis carried out by his organisation on the Madagascar’s native formulation against the COVID-19 pandemic, did not show evidence of efficacy on the disease.

Adigwe insisted that there was no evidence to the claim that the Madagascar’s Covid-Organic, could cure COVID-19, following analysis performed on the sample.

The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development is Nigeria’s agency responsible for the development of drugs and vaccines.

Recall that Madagascar had claimed that the COVID organics cured some people of the disease in the country.

But responding to a question on outcome of their research on the COVID Organic, Adigwe said: “The Minister gave us the mandate to find out if COVID Organics can cure COVID-19 and we did not get any evidence that it can.”

“This is because our analysis shows there is no evidence that it can cure COVID-19. There is no evidence for that,” he insisted.

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“Well, I cannot tell you what they have done. I can only tell you what we have done here. The analysis we gave in our report is more detailed than anything that had come from their country. They are hiding the analysis of their own product. If you go online, you cannot get the level of analysis that we gave.

“They are hiding a lot of things and I think it is possible that they know that they don’t have strong science backing up their claim. But our own analysis does not show any proof that it can cure COVID-19,” he added.

Speaking on what his organisation was doing to get cure for the COVID-19, he said: ”You know science takes time and it also needs a lot of money. That is what most people don’t understand.

”There is one product we have that is having a lot of promise. We have finish passing it through the pre-clinical studies. Where we are now is that we are trying to package it for the clinical trial and that is a great deal of work.”

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According to him, “We are moving in a forward direction. We have hope that the product will give a succor.”

On whether his organisation was getting any financial support coming from individuals or corporate organisations, he responded thus: ”There has been some positive progress, but not to the stage that we can be categorical about it. But there has been some progress.”

He added: ”We have submitted letter, they have asked for concept note and we have done that and also submitted full proposal. There is some positive progress but there hasn’t been any release of funds so far.”

Asked on how long it would take the organisation to develop cure for the disease if given the needed support, the NIPRD boss said:”If things all come together and we get the needed funding, within the next six months, we should be able to have something categorical within.

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