The Nigerian Export- Import Bank (NEXIM) has signed a financing agreement with the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) for the production of a sickle cell anaemia drug.
The Minister of State for Health, Muhammad Pate, and the Director of NIPRD, Karniyus Gamaniel, who both signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Robert Orya, NEXIM’s Bank Managing Director, described the contract as a pacesetter for the production of Niprisan, a sickle cell drug.
Orya disclosed that the partnership will ensure that the drug is not only consumed locally, but also exported to other countries in demonstration of the bank’s concern for sickle cell patients and the need to minimise the scourge of sickle cell anemia in the country and in other parts of the world.
“This is a project that we are excited about because we have been committed to the resuscitation of this project…we will not just be aiming at the monetary gains, but also social gains for the country,” he said.
The Minister of State for Health said that an interministerial committee will be set up later this week to supervise the production of the drugs.
“There are millions of Nigerians who suffer sickle cell disease and at the same time, there are remedies that in many cases we will not be able to reach them.
“But we are fortunate now that a Nigerian product- Niprisan has been found effective at alleviating this and it’s as a result of the research that NIPRID had done,” Pate said.
The agreement would enable NEXIM provide funds for the commercial production of the sickle cell drug, which is to be made from four botanical species indigenous to Nigeria.