Mbarara – Prof. Celestino Obua, the Vice-Chancellor of Mbarara University of science and technology (MUST) has urged the public to desist from using the wonder medical herb Covidex; that was made by scientists from the university, saying that it is was leaked to the public by a third party company called Jena Herbals (U) Ltd which the university says is being done without their permission since they are the intellectual property (IP) right holder of the product
“Any third party interested in the production, distribution or sale of Covidex herbal medicine without prejudice is hereby asked to desist from negotiating any deals with any individual, other than the University authority who is the holder of the Intellectual Property Rights for this product, and for the avoidance of any doubts, in this case, Mbarara University of Science and Technology authority.” Prof. Obua said in a press statement that was released Monday last week.
This statement follows a red flag that was raised by the National Drug Authority last week on the efficacy of the herbal medicine and queries whether it went through the proper channels of animal and human trials before being certified by the Authority.
The vice-chancellor also said that just like other products under development by the university, Covidex is also under development through Pharm-Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine Centre (PHARMBIOTRAC).
He added that the product was considered an excellent potential herbal medicine and was advised to go ahead and follow the normal procedures of approval according to the approved procedures on drug development and production in Uganda. Unfortunately, the product was leaked to the market before going through all the required procedures.
“As MUST we value the safety of the population and wish to follow the right procedures, guided by the National Regulatory and Certification bodies (NDA, UNBS, etc) in the country. We therefore would like to request the general public to be patient and allow this product to undergo all necessary procedure e.g., Lab tests, animal tests, clinical trials, production agreements, certification, registration and licensing before the product can be put on the market for sale,” he said.
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Prof. Obua conclusively advised the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) to work with Mbarara University of Science and Technology if they are interested in supporting Dr Patrick; the lead pharmacist of the product, and the team who developed of Covidex, but not at the exclusion of MUST, the IP owners of the product.