IUIU TO PARTNER WITH GOVERNMENT TO ACTUALIZE DRUG DEVELOPMENT

The Rector Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), Prof. Dr. Ismail Simbwa Gyagenda has pledged to work with the government through the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation-Office of the President (MoSTI-OP) and other institutions to ensure the actualization of drug development in Uganda.

 This was revealed during the public dialogue on drug development that was organized by the University in liaison with the MoSTI at the close of 2021 at the Main Campus.

 “IUIU and other universities including Uganda Christian University (UCU), Bishop Stuart University (BSU), Kampala International University (KIU), and Makerere University (MAK) are partnering with the government to realize various innovations including drug development,” Dr. Gyagenda revealed.

The Rector stressed that IUIU through its Habib Medical School and Motion Analysis Research Laboratory (MARL) commit to continue contributing a lot to the country’s health sector and technological innovations respectively.

In his address, Dr. Hassan Danesi, a drug development expert, who was the Keynote Speaker during the public dialogue said Africa has the capability to start developing drugs. He emphasized that if academic institutions are supported in building a scientifically sound clinical research environment based on ICH/GCP guidelines, they can be able to develop drugs.

 “Academic institutions need to participate in an ongoing global trial to generate safety and efficacy data specific to a country, form joint partnerships or ventures to develop a new drug and develop a manufacturing process for already approved drugs,” Dr. Danesi pointed out.

 Dr. Hassan who is a Senior Medical Director, Global Drug Development, and Executive Vice President H & H Lifesciences said there are four steps involved in the development of drugs.

           Step 1: Discovery and Development Research for a new drug begins in the laboratory.

Step 2: Pre-Clinical Research - Drugs undergo laboratory and animal testing to answer basic questions about safety.

Step 3: Clinical Research - Drugs are tested on people to make sure they are safe and effective and

Step 4: Agency Review - Review teams thoroughly examine all of the submitted data related to the drug and decide to approve or not to approve the new drug," the drug development expert who has worked in the United States of America and China among other countries said.

 Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Monica Musenero Masanza who was the Chief Guest said the government of Uganda is committed to supporting the development of drugs in the country. The Minister said drug development needs the collaboration of various scientists. According to the Minister, the government is supporting the first step of drug development in Uganda.  “Drug development needs the collaboration of several scientists and government is already supporting the first stage of the drug development.” Dr. Musenero echoed.

The Minister assured Universities that the funders are just waiting for scientists to start the drug development process.

“When the funders see potential in the process, they will bankroll the development of drugs in the country,” the Minister promised.

 In November 2021, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni commended the Islamic University in Uganda’s Pothole Mapping Innovation during the World Science Day for Peace and Development Celebrations at Kololo independence grounds.

While visiting IUIU exhibition booths, the President was particularly mesmerized by the pothole mapping robot and the Home Monitoring Applications innovated by IUIU’s Motion Analysis Research Laboratory. Mr. Museveni was overwhelmed with joy that IUIU is actually engaging actively in innovative efforts aimed at addressing real-world challenges.  “Interesting. Is this made locally at IUIU?” the President cheerfully inquired. 

The “Drug Development: Concept and Opportunities”  was attended by high-profile people such as Vice-Chancellors, Diplomats, Scientists, and Academicians from several countries such as Turkey, the United States of America, Malaysia, and Sudan.