Innovation from African scholars is always abounding, and Nigerian scientist Misitura Lawal-Arowona developed a new drug to treat Tuberculosis (TB).She is currently studying in India.
Misitura Lawal-Arowona has developed a metal anti-tuberculosis drug that will make great improvements in the treatment of TB in Africa and India. The University of Ilorin PhD student is under a fellowship Faculty of Science of The Maharaja Sayajirao University’ of Baroda, India
The metal-attached anti-TB drug is expected to improve the efficiency of TB drugs not only in India and Africa but the rest of the world as well. In Nigeria, TB is a huge problem. And the statistics do not tell a good story either. Nigeria is included among the 14 countries that have a high burden for TB, TB/HIV and multi-drug resistant TB.
One would expect that the creation of a new drug to treat TB not be subject to a lot of unnecessary red tape. And also not for big pharmaceutical companies to become greedy then buy off the whole idea and selling the drug at an extremely exorbitant price that will be beyond the reach of many.
Nigeria is also ranked 7th among the 30 high TB burden countries and 2nd in Africa. For such figures, creating new drugs is the best news ever.
On explaining her drug, she said, "Earlier, studies have proved that when a metal is attached with a pharmaceutical, it increases efficacy of the drug." She derived some inspiration from cisplatin, an anti-cancer drug, whose efficacy improved after applying platinum as metal. She then worked on multiple metal-based drugs have knowledge on whether attaching metal to TB drugs can improve their efficacy.
Her choice of metals was a coterie of ion, cobalt, copper and zinc to prepare the metallodrugs.
“When we compared the metallodrugs with the original anti-TB drugs, the metallodrugs were more effective,” said Professor Rajendrasinh Jadeja who is mentoring the Nigerian scholar.
“We did in vitro test against bacteria. The metal we have chosen are non-harmful to human beings. Also, we found that of all the metallodrugs, the copper complex of ciprofloxacin is most effective.”
Currently, there are no metal based anti-TB drugs available on the market. And for Misitura Lawal-Arowona to develop such a drug is a monumental scientific and medicinal feat.
Header image credit - The Gazelle News