The COVID-19 candidate vaccine developed by Nigerian researchers has been listed on World Health Organization draft landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines.
The team lead of the vaccine candidate research, Dr Oladipo Kolawole, who is also a lecturer at the Adeleke University, Ede, on Monday, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent.
Kolawole said the research was carried out at the Helix Biogen Consult, Ogbomoso, Oyo state.
The WHO draft landscape is the list of all COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the world, showing different stages and it is usually found on WHO’s site.
The project coordinators are the vice-chancellor, Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, Prof Julius Oloke, Dean, Faculty of Science, Adeleke University, Ede, Prof. Olubukola Oyawoye and Prof Mattew Kolawole of Department of Microbiology, University of Ilorin.
Kolawole said there were 235 candidate vaccines on the list and two were from Africa; Nigeria and Egypt.
“We have 235 candidates vaccine on the list and we have two from Africa on the list, Nigeria (our vaccine candidate) and Egypt. We are so happy to be on the list because
currently we have 63 at the clinical development stage while 172 at the pre-clinical development stage, ours is part of the 172 candidates.”
He explained that the candidate vaccine would boost the economy of Nigeria if given the needed support, adding that it was important that the government find local solutions to the country’s challenges instead of depending on western countries.
“If maximum support is given, this candidate vaccine will boost the economy of the country because we have the technology which can be adapted to other infectious diseases thereby boosting our economy because we will be selling to other countries. Government and private bodies in Nigeria have to invest more in research and development to find local solutions to our challenges, not depending too much on the western world.
Speaking on the process of being listed on WHO website, he said, “A mail was sent to me from Geneva in which they requested for scientific information as regards the scientific methodology we have used to develop the candidate vaccine after getting to know about our efforts. We keep pushing till we achieve our aim to get to the clinical trial stage.” He hinted that the animal trial is ongoing at the Helix Biogen Consult.