UNIZIK Discovers Drug For Coronavirus

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The Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka has announced a break through in the cure of novel Coronavirus by its Department of Pharmacy.

Prof Ikemefuna C. Uzochukwu, Principal Investigator, COVID-19 Drug Design, Discovery and Development Project, School of Pharmacy of the University said his group identified nine existing drugs, 14 phytochemicals from natural products and 3 N-acetyl glucosamine analogs with good binding affinities to two important COVID-19 proteins (glycoprotein S and protease) using computer-aided drug design tools.

These, Uzochukwu said may be potential inhibitors and possible drug or lead candidates for the treatment and prophylaxis of Covid-19.

On whether there is any prospect for the findings, he said his group found existing (approved) drugs that could be used for pre-and post-exposure chemoprophylaxis and treatment of Covid-19.

“The identified phytochemicals performed better than the existing drugs and could be developed as well for pre-and post-exposure chemoprophylaxis and treatment of Covid-19.”

Uzochukwu, however, said that the next step is for the group to do in vitro validation studies as well as Phase 2 clinical trials for identified existing drugs.

He called for funding and technical support both from partners and collaborators to progress the drug development because so far, according to him, the group have been self-funded up-to-date.

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