A team of 7 Nigerian scientists from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Maiduguri, have made progress in groundbreaking research into the use of local herbs for cancer therapy.
Led by Professor of Pharmacology at the university, Isa Marte Hussaini, the team is currently exploring different Nigerian plants for the cancer therapy research.
Prof. Hussaini, who presented the study to the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), told The Guardian that 8 out of the 54 plants so far identified showed more promise than the current drugs used in the treatment of cancer.
He added that the group was trying to identify some of those active compounds responsible for this anti-cancer activity and afterwards, in partnership with NAFDAC or NIPRID, animal and even pre-clinical studies will be done.
According to Hussaini, the team is made up of medical doctors, surgeons, pharmaceutical chemists and pharmacognosists, and then medicinal herbalist - a consultant.
He tasked government to provide adequate support, particularly funding to Nigerian scientists to enable them compete favourably, stating that between N100 million to N200 million would be needed to complete the project.
Hussaini added that his team received institutionalised funding through Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and was trying to secure more funding, especially from the National Institute for Health in the United States.
Meanwhile, NAFDAC and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID) have applauded the research, promising to work with the scientists to conduct pre-clinical trials.