A Nigerian Research Firm, Xcene Research Limited, is on the path of leading Africa towards standardising and domesticating clinical trials across the continent.
Clinical trials are primary researches that probe healthcare products or solutions to ensure that they are suitable for human consumption and promote well-being.
Adebukunola Telufusi, executive director, Xcene Research, said there is a need for Africa based clinical trials that take into account the peculiarity of the African people and their potential to roll out products which provide better life expectancy.
She made this known during a recent press conference held in Lagos to announce the fourth edition of the Impact Africa Summit themed: ‘Clinical Trials in Africa: Strengthening an Emerging Sector in Diverse Markets Through Local Partnerships and Collaboration’.
The Impact Africa Summit is billed to run from November 30th to Dec 2nd, 2023, at Oriental Hotel, Lagos.
According to her, the need for Africa to build capacity in the clinical trials space is imminent judging from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic where Africa recorded a lesser death population due to its unique race trait.
She noted that healthcare professionals in Africa must recreate her own narrative by creating avenues for collaborating stating that this year’s summit will be a convergence of professionals, policy makers and thought leaders in the healthcare value chain to build a health sector which is responsive to Africa’s healthcare needs.
“The global Clinical Research Organisations (CROs) may not have an attachment to Africa but we as local CROs have a stake in Africa and we want to make sure that Clinical Trials that have been conducted have an impact on the disease burden in Africa. Bringing all the key players together at the Impact Africa Summit, We can come together to see how we can begin to streamline these processes,” Telufusi said.
Yakubu Nyam Beno, deputy director, National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), said that clinical trials play an increasingly critical role in securing Africa’s healthcare sector. According to him, NAFDAC is working on a policy to jack up standardisation through clinical trials for products produced in Nigeria.
We want to see how we can leverage on CROs like Xcene. I believe that conducting Medical Clinical Trials and generating credible data from clinical trials is going to open up Research Institution to more sponsorship. NAFDAC is rolling out a policy by 2025 whereby every generic product produced in Nigeria must have bio equivalence data which is a form of Clinical Trials. This means that if you want to register your product with NAFDAC, you must submit your bio-equivalence data before you are registered”.
Nneka Onyejepu, senior researcher, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), said that Africa has all the resources to conduct clinical research to global standard and that beyond developing local capacity for clinical trials, stakeholders must collaborate to ensure that the outcomes lead to availability of healthcare solutions to solve existing problems.
“We have all the resources to conduct clinical trials according to global standards and I am hoping that going forward, we would all ensure that Nigeria is on the global map for clinical trials. If we come together, we can take clinical trials to the next level and it is not just clinical trials; it is that the products are available such that products get to those who need it,” Onyejepu said.