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CBN sets N500m limit as grant for development, manufacturing activities

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set N500 million as a maximum limit that can be accessed from the healthcare research and development grant for development and manufacturing activities.

This was contained in the healthcare research and development grant guidelines released on Tuesday by the CBN. Research activities are to access a maximum of N50.0 million

As part of its policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBN on May 2020 introduced the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) 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.

The regulator stated in the guidelines that the scheme shall be funded from the Developmental Component of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF).

Disbursement under the Scheme shall be made to beneficiaries in tranches subject to approved milestones achieved, the guidelines stated.

Activities eligible for consideration under the Scheme include research and development of candidate drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases; manufacturing of drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines validated by relevant health authorities for the control, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases; and red biotechnological R&D in new health technology for the control, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases; among others.

The CBN noted that Candidate vaccines undergoing pre-clinical testing or trials shall not be eligible for consideration under this Scheme. However, candidate vaccines undergoing clinical testing or trials shall be eligible for consideration under the Scheme is considered to have high potential to cross the clinical trial stage and prospects of scale by the Body of Experts (BoE).

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

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.

The broad objectives of Scheme include providing grants for R&D in new or revalidation of the drug molecule, phytomedicines, and vaccines for the control, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria; boosting domestic manufacturing of validated drugs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients or APIs), herbal medicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria and reduce the nation’s dependence on other countries for these drugs and vaccines; among others.

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