By Martha Agas
Governor Simon Lalong has commended Plateau state’s research team on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases for making a headway in the preclinical trials of drugs it formulated for the treatment of COVID-19.
The 13-member research team was inaugurated on May 18, 2020 to find a cure for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Lalong, in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Macham, on Saturday in Jos said that he was proud of team’s findings.
He commended the team after their preclinical trial presentation by the Lead Researcher, Prof. Noel Wannang, on Friday during the meeting of the State Executive Council.
The governor thanked the team for its commitment to finding a cure for COVID-19 which, he noted, was crumbling the global economy.
“Nobody has done this in Nigeria, it is better you market what you have, “he said.
The governor said the team was able to achieve the feat within the projected period in spite the challenges it encountered, saying he would present the work to relevant stakeholders for support.
“The first approach I would make is to take this to the chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) for you to make presentations to all Nigerians,“ he said.
The governor also assured the team that he would create a platform for it to make presentations to state governors, saying that he would personally take their work to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Earlier in his presentation, Prof. Wannang said that the committee had successfully developed a treatment protocol for COVID-19 using indigenous herbs found in the state.
“The preclinical stage has given us affirmation that it is useful in treating microbes, including viruses.
“We have exhausted all laboratory animal test studies, we are set to go to the next level of the research,” he said.
Wannang said the formulations namely Cov-Pla 1, Cov-Pla 2 and Cov-Pla 3 had gone through preclinical trials using rats, guinea pigs and rabbits, among others, to test the efficacy of the drugs, pointing out that it adopted international best practices in all the procedures.
He explained that the next stage was clinical trials on humans, nothing that its findings have been published in journals both nationally and internationally, adding that the products have been submitted to regulatory agencies for further evaluation.
He said in addition to the three formulations, the team produced hand sanitisers and tea bags called “Plavitalise“ as preventive measures for COVID-19.
He expressed optimism that when produced in bulk the products would generate revenue for state.