Unilorin: Female chemistry graduate develops potent anti-TB drug

By Balkis Tijani.

A graduate of Chemistry from the University of Ilorin, Ms. Misitura Arowona, has developed a drug that promises to be effective in the treatment of tuberculosis, TB.

Ms. Arowona obtained her B.Sc and M.Sc (Chemistry) degrees at the University of Ilorin, and presently pursues a PhD in the institution.

According to the Monday edition of the University of Ilorin Bulletin, Arowona who’s being supervised by Prof. Joshua Obaleye, former Dean, Faculty of Science of Unilorin, is also currently enrolled in a sandwich fellowship at the Faculty of Science, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara, India.

The publication also disclosed that the metal attached anti-TB drug developed by Arowona has improved the efficiency of the anti-TB drugs compared to normal drugs that are consumed globally, adding that about 407, 000 people in Nigeria have Tuberculosis in a year.

Arowona was quoted as saying: “Earlier studies have proved that when a metal is attached with a pharmaceutical, it increases the efficacy of the drug.”

On that motivation, she worked on multiple metal-based drugs to see whether the efficiency of anti-TB drugs can be increased by attaching metals to it.

Reacting to Arowona’s work, a Professor of Chemistry, Rajendrasinh Jadeja, of Sayajirao University, India, revealed the components of the drug which he stated were more effective when compared to the original anti-TB drugs in the market.

He said: “The drugs, which have been developed, include ciprofloxacin HCl, ofloxacin, pyrazinamide and moxifloxacin HCl. Presently, there is no metal-based anti-TB drug available in the market.

“When we compared the metallodrugs with the original anti-TB drugs, the metallodrugs were more effective. We did an in-vitro test against bacteria. The metals we have chosen are non-harmful to human beings. Also, we found that of all the metallodrugs, the copper complex of ciprofloxacin is most effective.”

Arowona’s research at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, India, is said to be sponsored by the Italy-based World Academy of Sciences and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

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