UNIABUJA to conduct further research on sickle cell, hypertension


University Of Abuja
University Of Abuja
THE University of Abuja is to conduct extensive researches aimed at facilitating improvement in the production of drugs for the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD) and hypertension.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Michael Adikwu who disclosed this at the weekend in Abuja, stated that the University has already set up a centre of excellence for sickle cell disease research and control and that it would also benefit from a 25 million pounds grant to Africa by Glaxo Smith Kline, (GSK) London meant for further research on the efficacy of the three existing drugs for the management of hypertension.
Professor Adikwu disclosed this when he received a team from GSK which was on the main campus and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital to inspect facilities for a trial pharmaceutical laboratory which is expected to focus research on three combinations of medications namely: Amlodipine-Lisnopril, Lisnopril-Thiazide and Amlodipine- Thiazide for the treatment of hypertension cases.
Leader of the Glaxo Smith Kline team who is also the Global Health Projects Director  of the firm, Mrs. Ann Duffon, and the principal investigator, Dr. Ojji Dike, of the Department of Internal Medicine of the University of Abuja said that the research on the combination drugs was to test for their efficacy and for those with less side effect in order to establish the best anti-hypertensive drugs for Africa.
The visit to the University, according to the duo, followed the success of an application for grant to GSK for research into the non-communicable disease stressing that the pharmaceutical firm would be actively involved in the project and would ensure skills transfer and exchange of knowledge on the studies with a view to expand the scope of the research and collaboration with the local academia.
The Vice-Chancellor assured the medical research team that the university cherished the confidence reposed in her evident in the choice of the institution for sitting the project saying that resources allocated for the project would be judiciously utilized.
Professor Adikwu had also said that a senior research fellow in the University’s Department of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, Dr Obiageli E. Nnodu had been appointed Director of the sickle cell Disease Research and Training Centre to facilitate its immediate take off in line with the recommendations of an international conference on the  scourge which held at the university last year where participants decried the existence of only one drug for its treatment in Africa despite its prevalence on the continent.

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