THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has indicated readiness to collaborate with indigenous scientists in the development of drugs or vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
The Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said the interventions would allow for documentation of such initiatives for global recording as potential vaccines or drugs that are in process or safety testing.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Tuesday in Abuja, that her agency would open its doors to the team of Nigerian scientists that declared they are working on a vaccine for COVID-19.
She noted: “It will be a great thing if Nigeria develops her vaccine, but all the steps stated above will have to be followed.”
According to her, it takes time to develop a vaccine and NAFDAC will be the first to be informed of any such developments in the country.
“That testing will involve use of the virus and then animals. If all goes well, the researchers will then plan for clinical trial, which will take a long time from 18 months to years.
According to NAN a team of Nigerian Universities’ Scientists, under the aegis of COVID-19 Research Group, recently announced the discovery of the vaccine at Adeleke University, Ede, in Osun State.
The leader of the team, Dr Oladipo Kolawole, said the vaccine was being developed locally in Africa for Africans.
A specialist in Medical Virology, Immunology and Bioinformatics, Kolawole said the vaccine would also work for other continents when unveiled.
He said that the group had been working extensively by exploring the SARS-CoV-2 genome from African countries to select the best possible potential vaccine candidates.
He said that after trying out some selected processes of vaccine development, the researchers were able to choose the best potential vaccine candidates for the SARS-CoV-2 and had made the possible latent vaccine constructs.
Kolawole said that it would take a minimum of 18 months before the vaccine would be unveiled.