The potential drug compound was an initiative by a team of researchers at NUL and preliminary tests were done at the institution.
On July 29, the drug compound was taken to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, South Africa where it has been revealed that the compound drug is active or effective against the two Coronaviruses tested namely SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV as well as for toxicity and therapeutic index.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology (MCST) Chief Thesele 'Maseribane in Roma on Monday.
In his address, the minister said the results were received by his office on November 12 from CSIR, showing that the mixture can actually fight the virus infection as it is safe to animal cells and can be a good drug candidate against COVID-19.
Chief ’Maseribane therefore said this is an indication of urgent potential as a future drug for the Coronavirus.
As a way forward, he said pre-clinical and clinical trials should be undertaken to further evaluate the activity of the drug compound for use on humans, adding that if the trials yield positive results, then the drug will be introduced to the market for treatment of COVID-19 through the NUL Innovation Hub Business Support Programme.
He said this potential drug compound is not yet a treatment for COVID-19 until it has been approved as such by relevant bodies.
He expressed his gratitude to researchers at NUL and his colleagues who worked together in this project.
For his part, NUL Vice Chancellor Professor Kananelo Mosito said this is an important occasion for the university to become part of national and international studies to rapidly develop a new drug and knowledge towards the Coronavirus.
He said the pandemic has compelled researchers of higher learning institutions to perform diagnostic testing and experiments in laboratories for infectious diseases.
Prof Mosito said the clinical research has been vital to improving COVID-19 management, adding that the global future relies on the development of effective remedy and treatment for the virus.
The COVID-19, he said has changed higher learning institutions in a new and many ways as universities have to make efforts to prevent the contagion caused by the virus.
He the advent of COVID-19 has made it possible for governments and universities to work closely together, adding that in the past, governments used to drift away from intellectuals.