Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, on Monday claimed that his team had discovered a cure for the deadly coronavirus.
Iwu is presently Chief Executive Officer of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria, made this known when he led his team of researchers to brief the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu and his Health counterpart, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
The former INEC boss said that the research institute had identified and patented a possible treatment since 2015
He said,” I am here to formally brief you about our drug discovery project, which has led to the identification of a potential treatment agent for Coronavirus infections. You will recall that on 23rd July 2018 you presented to scientists of the Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) patent certificates granted by the Trade Mark, Patent and Design Registry facilitated by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
“The three patents granted to us (NG/P/2015/84; NG/P/2015/85; and NG/P/2015/97) were based on discoveries from the natural products drug screening programme at Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) focused on Neglected Tropical Diseases, Emergent Infections and Orphan Diseases. The lead drug discovery project includes the chemical isolation and characterization of naturally occurring compounds and subjecting them to a battery of bioassays for the identification of potentially useful drug-lead molecules.
” Our approach is the use of a network of eminent scientists and leading laboratories to target particular diseases, especially neglected tropical, emergent diseases and orphan diseases such as Leishmaniasis, Ebola virus, Dengue fever virus, Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Coronavirus and Tacaribe virus; and chronic metabolic diseases such diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
“Your Excellency will recall that when the Ebola virus infection broke out in 2014 many people were surprised that our research group had an experimental lead compound that was identified 15 years earlier in 1999. And now with the emergence of a novel Coronavirus in 2019 as Covid-19 we had identified and patented a possible treatment back in 2015.
” It is very important that we must remain ahead of these emergent infections through research. The other aspect of our work targets the so-called orphan diseases; these are rare diseases (diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people), or disease that has not been adopted by the pharmaceutical industry because it provides little financial incentive for the private sector to make and market new medications to treat or prevent them, and/ or diseases that affect mainly the poor. “