The Federal Executive Council has given approval to the The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) and Nigerian pharmaceutical company, May and Baker to scale up production and marketing of a home grown anti-sickle cell drug, called Niprisan.
The discovery was made by NIPRD researchers several years ago.
This is aimed at reducing the burden of the disease in Africa and other parts of the world where the disease is common.
Sickle cell anaemia is a common problem particularly among Africans, South-east Asians and Latin Americans.
According to Premium Times, the agreement was signed in Abuja by Managing Director of May & Baker Nigeria, Nnamdi Okafor, and the Acting Director-General of NIPRD, Olabayo Kunle.
This was done in the presence of the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole.
The minister said the commercialisation of Niprisan herbal product has come a long way to serve as a model for the production and development of regulatory guidelines for the assessment and registration of phytomedicines in Nigeria.
He noted that the project was the first herbal medicinal product in Nigeria to go through the full process of clinical studies starting from phase one to the end. He said it should be marketed to all Chief Medical Directors / Medical Directors for the treatment of sickle cell anaemia.
Mr Adewole also called the establishment of May and Baker laboratory in NIPRD as the first collaborative effort of the Federal Ministry of Health through NIPRD and May & Baker.