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Nigeria set for global clinical trials

Posted: May 1, 2015 at 8:44 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Partners U.S. on Ebola vaccine study

By Ejikeme Omenazu ( Lagos) and Hassan Zaggi (Abuja)

To make Nigeria a clinical destination hub in the world, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has inaugurated Clinical Trial Technical Working Group.

This is just as the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, has said that the U.S.-Nigeria partnership on Ebola vaccines is working with pharmaceutical companies to test vaccine candidates.

The inauguration of the technical committee, it was gathered,  was also aimed at improving Nigeria’s participation in clinical trials because of the immense benefits both to patients, economy and  other aspects of human life.

The committee is chaired by Professor Ifeoma Okoye of the Department of Radiation Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.

While inaugurating the committee in Abuja, on Friday, May 1, 2015,  the Director General of NAFDAC, Paul Orhii, noted that due to increased globalisation, it had become necessary to strengthen  his agency’s  regulatory capacity not only in clinical trials but also other aspects of its  activities.

He disclosed  that the committee is mandated to investigate new or relatively new chemical entities or herbal formulations for which safety/efficacy profile has not been determined; drug for new indications; new dosage schedule/regimen; new drug delivery system and academic clinical trial, among others.

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Entwistle, said the partnership on Ebola vaccines is part of an international network through the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s Military HIV Programme.

Entwistle stated this as Nigeria and United States military on Friday commenced collaboration on medical research on a test study of the Ebola vaccine in Abuja.
The launch of the Ebola Vaccine Study Centre coincided with the 10th anniversary of partnership between the Ministry of Defence, Health Implementation Programme (MODHIP) and the United States Department of Defence, Walter Reed Programme-Nigeria (USDOD WRP-N).
The U.S. envoy added that the partnership is closely working with many regulatory bodies, ethics groups, federal entities, and community boards in Nigeria to ensure that any such studies would be safe and contribute to the international effort to combat Ebola virus health threat.
The Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau (rtd), who was represented by the Minister of State for Defence, Colonel Austin Akobundu (rtd), welcomed the efforts on vaccine trial against Ebola.
He stressed that the study was to build on the findings of the phase one trials of the vaccine and that it would be harmless to those who would be involved in the study.

The Minister of Health, Khaliru Alhassan, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Linus Awute, said there was need for all hands to be on deck to bridge the gap of knowledge, health infrastructure and diseases surveillance between the developed and the developing countries.