A Nigerian Research Team, A-Z Biotechnology, has developed a drug known as ‘Artemisia Annua Cultivation,’ capable of preventing human cells from the dreaded coronavirus infection.
The research team also said the drug could stop the virus from multiplying and would eventually die even if the human cell was infected by the virus, explaining that the newly developed drug had both preventive and curative effects.
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Prof. C.I.C. Ogbonna, a team leader and lecturer at the University of Jos, disclosed this in an interview with Daily Trust in Jos.
According to the team leader, the drug which was also known as warm-wood “is a highly aromatic annual herb and the Nigerian variety, Artemisia annua var. has a high Artemisinin content (4.8%) and is one of the best varieties in the world.
“The Asian and East African varieties have Artemisinin contents that range from 0.6-1.2%. Plans are already on for the commercial cultivation of the Nigerian high Artemisinin-yielding variety in collaboration with the Natural Medicine Development Agency, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
Prof. Ogbonna further revealed that researches on the said plant were being conducted for the production of cheap malaria drugs in Nigeria for eventual malaria eradication (not management) and also for the cure of cancer, diabetes, heart diseases together with the management of COVID-19.
He said the results obtained from the various researches were highly impressive and would be of benefit to Nigerians, adding that it will not be necessary now for the country to import the seeds or propagules of this plant from the plant’s parent countries.
He said Nigeria had all the technology needed for the growing, harvesting, and processing of this plant for the benefit of Nigerians and would be rewarding if Raw Material Research Development Council (RMRDC) collaborated with the efforts being made in this area and not to duplicate issues. The geo-political zonal areas where this plant will be cultivated have already been chosen.