By Musa Ubandawaki Sokoto
Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto, UDUS, in collaboration with the University of Jos and other research institutions in Nigeria has developed a new indigenous vaccine for preclinical trials potent in the treatment of the COVID-19 virus.
Architect Sonny Echono, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, while briefing journalists at the Centre For Advanced Medical Research and Training, CAMRET, of the University described the feat as, another breakthrough in medical research in the country.
“The vaccine was developed by a consortium of researchers from UDUS in collaboration with Nigeria’s Medical Research Institute (NMRI) Yaba, Lagos; National Veterinary Research Institute, NVRI, Vom; National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Zaria and University of Jos”.
“The consortium was awarded the grant of the sum of four hundred and fifty million Naira to undertake the project under the TETFUND MEGA Research Intervention scheme, introduced to immediately address identified issues of national priority.”
Echono, who disclosed that the vaccine would soon be released for the treatment of the COVID-19 virus after its clinical trial maintained that, TETFUND is ever ready to support any individual, or institution that is ready to carry out viable research.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodio University Prof Bilbis Lawal said Lassa fever and COVID-19 have posed challenges to the whole world.
He said, “as of now there is no vaccine for Lassa fever and the disease is only peculiar to tropical Africa.
“This Lassa fever is our problem and nobody will fix it for us we have to do it ourselves.”
He further disclosed that UDUS was tasked with the design and construction of DNA Vaccine candidates, NIMR designed and construct a peptide subunit vaccine candidate, NARICT developed the vehicle for the delivery of the vaccines. Researchers from the University of Jos carried out preclinical trials of the vaccine candidates and, NVRI, upscaled the production of all the vaccine candidates developed.
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