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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued the guidelines to its Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS).

The grant was designed to help strengthen the public healthcare system with innovative financing of research and development (R&D) in new and improved drugs, vaccines and diagnostics of infectious diseases in Nigeria.

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This was disclosed by CBN via its site in Saturday and seen by Nairametrics. The guideline stated that the HSRDIS is designed to trigger intense national R&D activities to develop a Nigerian vaccine, drugs and herbal medicines against the spread of COVID-19.

It stated, “It would also curb any other communicable or non-communicable diseases through the provision of grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes.

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The Scheme is intended to boost domestic manufacturing of critical drugs and vaccines to ensure their sustainable domestic supply and reduce the bulk manufacturing costs of the drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines in Nigeria.

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Source of fund

According to the apex bank, the Scheme shall be funded from the Developmental Component of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF).

Grant Limit
While Research activities would not access more than N50 million, development/Manufacturing activities will access more than N500.0 million.

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CBN emphasised that the disbursement under the Scheme shall be made to beneficiaries in tranches subject to approved milestones achieved.

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Timeframe

Timeframe given to research activities was not more than two years from the date of release of fund and Development/Manufacturing activities are not more than one (1) year from the date of release of fund.

Who is eligible:

Candidate vaccines undergoing pre-clinical testing or trials shall not be
eligible for consideration under this Scheme.

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But candidate vaccines undergoing clinical testing or trials shall be eligible for consideration under the Scheme if considered to have high potential to cross the clinical trial stage and prospects of scale by the Body of Experts (BoE).

It stated, “In applying for the grant, the applicant shall be required to have conducted pre-clinical testing of the candidate drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines, and obtained certification from relevant health authorities for further research and development.

“Special consideration shall be given to candidate drugs, herbal medicines and
vaccines with high scientific merit against emerging infections and contribute to the development of the Nigerian vaccine.”

Modalities

The applicant(s) shall submit its application, with relevant documentation of validation from relevant health authorities, trial results, patent registration details (if any) and development timetable to the Body of Experts (BoE).

“The BoE shall evaluate applications and recommend to the CBN. CBN shall review for documentation adequacy and completeness.

“Upon approval, the approved grant sum shall be released to the applicant’s
account with any PFI of his/her choice. The beneficiary shall submit periodic progress report on the project to the CBN.

“The CBN shall have proprietary right over all financed R&D outcomes or
products. Equally, licensing protocol for the mass manufacturing of developed
drugs, phytomedicines and vaccines shall be defined by the BoE in accordance with
the World Health Organisation’s current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP),” it added.

 

 

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