The Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE) has appealed to Ugandans to welcome the clinical trial of UBV-01N, a locally developed COVID-19 treatment regimen and willingly participate in when asked to volunteer.
According to PRESIDE, The regimen has been proved safe and the trial is basically to prove its efficacy against COVID-19.
PRESIDE is a think tank of scientists that was launched by President Yoweri Museveni as one of the platforms that were tasked to address multiple aspects of pandemics, including the Coronavirus pandemic.
When Uganda confirmed its first positive case of COVID-19 in March 2020, PRESIDE started holding scientific hackathons to engage scientists in order to develop products in the areas of Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics that would help in the treatment of COVID-19.
According to the a press statement dated January 27, 2021 from the presidential initiative, At least 23 projects have so far been funded through PRESIDE and its through one of the 23 projects that this regimen was analysed, validated, approved and certified by regulatory authorities in Uganda to go into the clinical trial phase.
The regimen was presented to PRESIDE by the Natural Chemotherapeutic Research Institute (NCRI) in April 2020. The NCRI researchers presented it as a natural chemotherapeutic product that treats viral and bacterial infections and during the hackathons, they presented the literature that proved the scientific concept of their proposal and they were funded by PRESIDE.
“Since April 2020, the NCRI researchers led by Dr. Grace Nambatya Kyeyune, have worked tirelessly through all the rigorous processes to come up with a scientifically proven product that is ready for clinical trials now. The government through the Ministry of Finance, provided funds that were channeled through the the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) to procure equipment and meet operational costs,” PRESIDE officials noted in a statement.
President Museveni on Wednesday officiated the first clinical trial of what was termed as ‘a highly scientific process to analyse and validate a natural product anticipated to have antiviral (kill viruses), anti – inflammatory (reduces over reaction of the body to infections) and immunological (directs the immune system in the right direction) ability.
According to Dr. Grace Nambatya, the clinical trial is meant to validate the content, standardise and replicate the product after which it will be rolled out for industrial reproduction.
Dr. Nambatya said that the product is safe and urged Ugandans willingly participate and volunteer when asked to.
“The product has already gone through multiple quality assurance steps and got all the necessary certifications and approval for use in human beings in a clinical trial setting,” Dr. Nambatya said.
The regimen has been given code UBV-01N since its the first natural chemotherapeutic product to go through an international level clinical trial process.
According to Dr. Nambatya, the regimen has been approved by the National Drug Authority (NDA), the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and the National Council for Science and Technology.