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Date: May 28, 2020, 06:37:42 PM

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UNIZIK dismisses don over alleged discovery of COVID-19 drug: Health : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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UNIZIK dismisses don over alleged discovery of COVID-19 drug

By: dayan (M) |Time : May 08, 2020, 04:55:32 AM
Management of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State has dismissed Dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Ikemefuna Uzochukwu, over alleged discovery of drug for COVID-19 cure at the institution.

Professor Uzochukwu, who was Principal Investigator, COVID-19 Drug Design, Discovery and Development Project at the School of Pharmacy had publicly claimed that his group had identified nine existing drugs for cure of the pandemic.

He also said the team discovered 14 phytochemicals from natural products, three N-acetyl glucosamine analogs with good binding affinities, as well as glycoprotein S and protease, being two important COVID-19 proteins, using computer-aided drug design tools.

Explaing the benefits of the findings, Uzochukwu said, “These may be potential inhibitors and possible drug or lead candidates for the treatment and prophylaxis of Covid-19,” noting that his group has found existing (approved) drugs that could be used for pre-and post-exposure chemoprophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19.

But in a swift reaction, management of the university admitted that a team of researchers had embarked on the process of drug development for coronavirus, stressing, “No drug has been developed yet contrary to insinuations that the university had discovered a cure for the pandemic.”

A statement issued by Acting Head, Information and Public Relations Unit of the institution, Mrs. Chika Gladys Ene, noted that it became necessary to set the records straight over the alleged discovery of COVID-19 drug credited to it.

“Management wishes to set the records straight on the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) drug discovery credited to our institution. Our team of researchers swung into action following the announcement the disease in Nigeria.

“One of the research groups in the university that specialises in computer-aided drug discovery identified a target on the virus using computer simulation. It also identified compounds that can possibly attack the target.

“All these were done in silico (inside the computer). No wet laboratory experiment has been carried out to confirm that what was seen in the computer is possible in real life.

“In other words, the result is yet to get into the first stage of drug discovery process and neither preclinical, nor clinical trials have been carried out.

“Hence, we cannot say that a cure has been found, but there is an on-going research for the discovery of a cure. Notwithstanding, our team of researchers are committed to the progress of its development,” the statement reads.

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Re: UNIZIK dismisses don over alleged discovery of COVID-19 drug

By: dayan (M) |Time : May 08, 2020, 05:11:45 AM
Quote
Explaing the benefits of the findings, Uzochukwu said, “These may be potential inhibitors and possible drug or lead candidates for the treatment and prophylaxis of Covid-19,” noting that his group has found existing (approved) drugs that could be used for pre-and post-exposure chemoprophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19.

But in a swift reaction, management of the university admitted that a team of researchers had embarked on the process of drug development for coronavirus, stressing, “No drug has been developed yet contrary to insinuations that the university had discovered a cure for the pandemic.”

A statement issued by Acting Head, Information and Public Relations Unit of the institution, Mrs. Chika Gladys Ene, noted that it became necessary to set the records straight over the alleged discovery of COVID-19 drug credited to it
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This news is confusing, and poorly written.

Has the Prof been "dismissed" as in SACKED?

And for what exactly?

This man is known to me, and I can vouch for his personal and professional integrity.
"Ikem" is INCORRUPTIBLE, and STRAIGHT AS A POLE!

He also has very humble inclinations and NEVER given to ego.

It is totally out of character for him to rush out to claim something, just to support or boost his ego.

THAT IS NOT IKEM!

Whatever he says is GOSPEL truth, because that is whom he's been for YEARS - highly intelligent and a man of impeccable integrity.

Therefore, the management of UNIZIK may be playing games here.

It is almost as if the school is panicking that Ikem's team discovered and announced potential cure candidates.

Why the panic?

The school could have quietly communicated the information to the team and have them grant a proper press release to put the records straight about the stage of the drug development.

I almost suspect that someone at the school doesn't want a cure, hence this quick repudiation.

What I know is that if you keep Ikem on one side, and the school's management on the other side, I would pick Ikem 6 days a week and twice on Sunday.

Something smells fishy here.

So much for supporting local discoveries and innovation.

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