Unilorin Ph.D. Student Develops New Anti-Tb Drug

A giant stride is being made in the fight against tuberculosis. Misitura Arowona a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry, University of Ilorin, has developed a new anti TB drug. The drug promises to be potent in the treatment of tuberculosis, which is an infectious disease that usually attacks the lungs.

Arowona is being supervised by Prof. Joshua Obaleye, former Dean, Faculty of Science Unilorin. She is currently undergoing a sandwich fellowship at the Faculty of Science of the Maharaja Sayajiro University, Vadodara, India. 

Nigeria is said to be among the 14 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV, and multi-drug resistant TB. The country is ranked seventh among the 30 high TB burden countries and second in Africa. It is estimated that about 407,000 people in Nigeria have TB in a year. Arowona has therefore developed an anti-TB drug that includes metal, which has improved the efficacy of the anti-TB drugs compared to normal drugs that are consumed globally.

In a publication by the University Bulletin, it was explained that Arowona made it known that studies have proved that when a metal (cobalt, ion, zinc, etc.) is attached with a pharmaceutical, it increases the efficacy of the drug. She cited Cisplastin, an anti-cancer drug as an example of drugs whose efficacy improved after applying platinum as metal. Arowona thereby worked on multiple based drugs to see whether the efficiency of anti-TB drugs can be increased by attaching metal to it.

When drugs combined with metals were compared with the original anti-TB drugs, the metal drugs were said to be more effective. An in-vitro test against bacteria was also conducted. The drugs, which have been developed, include Ciprofloxacin HCL, Ofloxacin, Pyrazinamide, and Moxifloxacin HCL. Among the drugs developed, Ciprofloxacin, which has copper as the metal, is the most effective. Presently, there is no metal-based anti-TB drug available in the market.

Kudos has to be given to Misitura Arowona, who is pursuing her research at MSU under fellowship sponsored by the Italy-based World Academy of Sciences and the Department of Biotechnology. She had her B.Sc and M.Sc in Chemistry from the University of Ilorin. She has to her credit many journals published locally and internationally. 

SOURCE: Punch online.

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