The Director-General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Adigwe, has revealed the institute’s new priority on science, technology, innovation as well as local and international partnerships.
The NIPRD boss said the agency was now focused on health equity in Nigeria through Research and Development (R&D) for local drug production and medicine security, noting that tropical diseases such as malaria remain significant healthcare challenges in the country.
Dr Adigwe who made the observations at the 24th Annual National Conference of the Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria (NAIP), said non-communicable and emerging diseases such as Ebola and COVID-19 were steadily rising in Nigeria and many African countries and needs research to control them.
He informed that the nations’ pharmaceutical research sector has developed three COVID-19 products, while at least 10 other products were awaiting industry take-up.
The innovation he said informed the huge investment being deployed at NIPRD to boost Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning projects in Drug Discovery & Phytomedicinal Development.
He said the intervention will exponentially improve relevant outcomes while conserving scarce resources in our Research and Development setting.
According to Adigwe, the recent infrastructure investment in Bioavailability and Bioequivalence was aimed at achieving high-quality Nigerian products with the hope of dominating the continent once the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) picks up speed.
He called on experts in the pharmaceutical industry to partner with NIPRD’s Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and Excipients’ Value Chain Production Project.
Meanwhile, Dr. Adigwe and the NIPRD’s Head of Research and Development, Prof. Martins Emeje, were recognized with awards for leading a new organisation that leverages on modern technologies to produce new products.