The Drug Research and Production Unit focuses on Medicinal Plant Research and has nearly three decades of research and teaching experience. Prior to its establishment there were various departmental units in the Faculty. Their resultant integration led to the formation of Drug Research and Production Unit by the University Senate in 1979 with assent from the National University Commission. The Unit was established to cater for production and development aspect of industrial pharmacy practice.
1. To encourage, provide facilities for and initiate research into natural drugs and pesticides with special interest in African medicinal plants with a view to developing them into different dosage forms, and develop appropriate pharmacopoeias.
2. To establish analytical procedures as complementary elements towards the production of high quality drugs.
3. To serve as a liaison organ and provide a forum for contact, interaction, dissemination of information and to enhance co- operation among various researchers in and outside the Obafemi Awolowo University in the discipline of natural and synthetic drug research.
4. To produce drugs in various dosage forms for clinical trials and provide high quality drugs and pharmaceuticals for Health Services of the Community.
5. To provide substantial drug manufacturing training and experience for pharmacy students and professionals.
6. To render consultancy services in drug research, production and quality control to the public and private sectors of the community.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES OF DRPU
In order to achieve the set goals of the Unit, Research and Development activities are being pursued on two major areas:
- Generic drug production
- Herbal drug productions
PRODUCTS WE MANUFACTURE include paracetamol tablets, paracetamol elixir, chloroquine syrup and ascorbic acid syrup. The unit has validated processes for the manufacture of these drugs. These products were once supplied to hospitals and clinics in and around Ile-Ife.
DRUG DEVELOPMENT FROM NATURAL PRODUCTS (HERBAL DRUG PRODUCTION)
Our abundant natural resources-medicinal plants, animals, and inorganic residues-remain a good source of our medicines and pharmaceutical products. Of these, higher plants are comparatively cheap sources of very important active substances for the pharmaceutical industry.
The Unit has been involved in the following:
(i) The chemistry and biology of plants used against malaria e.g. Khaya grandifoliola, Morinda lucida, Dracaena fragrans.
(ii) Studies of medicinal plants with anit-infective properties, e.g. Acalypha wilkesiana, Ageratum conyzoides, Kalanchoe crenata.
(iii) Studies on plants used in the control of schistosomiasis e.g. Tertrapleura tetraptera, Zingiber officinate.
(iv) Studies of natural products with anticonvulsant properties e.g. T. tetraptera fruit, Solanum spp. Clausena anisata.
(v) Studies of the chemistry and biology of the Nigerian Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae) e.g. Zanthoxylum rubescens, Zanthoxylum leprieurii, Zanthoxylum tessmannii.
(vi) Trypanocidal activity of Nigerian medicinal Plants.
(vii) Toxicological investigations of plant extracts with bioactive properties e.g. Tetrapleura tetraptera, Zingiber officinale.
(viii) Development of pharmaceutical adjuvant from locally available raw materials.
(ix) Acetylcholine esterase inhibition properties of alkaloids from African Crinum species.
(x) Development and production of drugs for chemotherapy of sickle cell disease.
Many Nigerian medicinal plant have been screened and studied for their biological activities. These studies have led to the formulation of some herbal product whose registration have been initiated with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
PRODUCTS DEVELOPED FROM NATURAL COMPOUNDS BY THE UNIT
The Unit made a lot of progress on the production of two brands of herb teas tagged, ‘FP Chancellor herbal tea’ and ‘FP Tonic herbal tea’. The Unit has been granted provisional registration by NAFDAC for her products which include FP Schisto herbal soaps (laundry and toilet soaps), FP Peltor herbal mouth gaggle, FP Bridfeg herbal mouth wash, FP Tonic tea, FP Chancellor Tea. Recently the Village Chemist (Professor A. A. Elujoba) transferred the rights to produce Mama Decoction, Jedi Decoction, Mama powder to the Unit. It is now being produced as FP Mama decoction, FP Jeddy decoction and FP Mama powder. These products are already been produced on pilot scale and ready for commercialization.