Uganda launches first clinical trial of chemotherapeutic products to treat viral and bacterial infections

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The Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE) has today (Wednesday) launched the first clinical trial of natural chemotherapeutic products to treat viral and bacterial infections. The product code is UBV-01N.

According to the initiative, it is the first Ugandan natural chemotherapeutic product to go through an international level clinical trial process.

The trial will analyse and validate a natural product anticipated to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunological ability.

“The clinical trial will validate the content, standardisation and replication of the product after which it will be rolled out for industrial production and widespread use. The product has already gone through multiple quality assurance steps and got all necessary certifications and approval for use in human beings in a clinical trial setting. A highly competent team in Mulago Hospital will conduct the trial,” reads the statement from PRESIDE in part.

PRESIDE further revealed that National Drug Authority (NDA), Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and National Council for Science and Technology approved the product.

Quoting Professor Moses Joloba, the Dean School of Biomedical Sciences Makerere University College of Health Sciences and one of the scientists involved in product development said, “It is one thing to be a laboratory researcher and another to be a product manufacturer.”

The study is aimed at enrolling 128 participants with adult males and females aged 18-70 years with a positive COVID-19 test and admitted at Mulago national referral hospital.

“For female patients, they should not be pregnant or breastfeeding or intending to get pregnant during the period when the trial is taking place,” reads an excerpt.

Ugandans have been urged to welcome the clinical trial and willingly participate when asked to volunteer.

“The product has been proved safe and the trial is basically to prove its efficacy against COVID 19,” reads the statement in part.

In April 2020, The Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute (NCRI) presented its proposal to PRESIDE to produce natural chemotherapeutic products to treat viral and bacterial infections. During the scientific hackathons, the NCRI researchers presented the literature that proved the scientific concept of their proposal and they were funded.

Since April 2020, the NCRI researchers led by Dr Grace Nambatya Kyeyune, have worked tirelessly through all the rigorous processes to come up with a scientifically proven product that is ready for clinical trials now.

The government through the Ministry of Finance, provided funds that were channelled through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MOSTI) to procure equipment and meet operational costs.

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