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Published On: Thu, Aug 8th, 2019

Unilorin student develops new anti-TB drug

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From Oluseyi Dasilva Ilorin

A Ph.D student in the Department of Chemistry, University of Ilorin, Misitura Lawal- Arowona, has developed a drug that proves to be potent in the treatment of tuberculosis (TB), an infectious disease that was notorious for attacking the lungs.
The student, who is being supervised by Prof. Joshua Obaleye, is currently undergoing a sandwich fellowship at the Faculty of Science of The Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Vadodara, India.
According to a information made available by the University of Ilorin, the metal attached anti-TB drug developed by Mrs. Arowona, who is a Lecturer at the Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, Kebbi, has improved the efficiency of the anti-TB drugs compared to normal drugs that are consumed globally.
Nigeria is among the 14 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and multi-drug resistant TB. The country is ranked seventh among the 30 high TB burden countries and second in Africa The problem of TB in Nigeria has been made worse by the issues of drug resistant TB and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is estimated that about 407,000 people in Nigeria have TB in a year.
In an interview with the Indian publication, Mrs. Arowona, who is in Vadodara for a year-long project, was quoted as saying: “Earlier studies have proved that when a metal is attached with a pharmaceutical, it increases efficacy of the drug”.
Taking a cue from cisplatin, an anti-cancer drug, whose efficacy improved after applying platinum as metal, the scholar worked on multiple metal-based drugs to see whether efficiency of anti-TB drugs can be increased by attaching metals to it.
Also speaking with the newspaper, Prof. Rajendrasinh Jadeja, Mrs. Arowona’s mentor at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, India’s Chemistry Department said that the Nigerian scholar used metals like ion, cobalt, copper and zinc to prepare the metallodrugs.
The drugs, which have been developed include ciprofloxacin HCl, ofloxacin, pyrazinamide and moxifloxacin HCl. Presently, there is no metal-based anti-TB drug available in the market.

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