LEAF pharmaceuticals to start manufacturing drugs for supplemental oxygen therapy

By IGIHE
On 30 March 2020 at 05:39

Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has announced that it has received a request from LEAF Pharmaceuticals, a US-based global pharmaceutical company to manufacture and provide supplemental oxygen to coronavirus patients.

In cases where pneumonia inhibits breathing, supplemental oxygen therapy is recommended. Treatment includes ventilation with oxygen.

LEAF Pharmaceuticals will be manufacturing drugs to reduce inflammation and help open airways during respiratory disease instead of using Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ventilators as usual.

Reports from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) show that due to the increasing number of coronavirus patients, ICU ventilators have become expensive with their prices increasing from $27,000 to $96,000.

Dr. Clet Niyikiza, Founder, President, and CEO of LEAF Pharmaceuticals told Rwanda Television (RTV) that the company is among 17 other pharmaceutical institutions in the United States which are conducting research to find a vaccine or cure for coronavirus.

Currently, the US counts more than 142,000 coronavirus patients while 2500 succumbed to the virus.

Last week, President Trump invoked a war-era Production Act forcing companies such as General Motors to make products for national defence. General Motors which usually is a car manufacturing company will start producing ventilators for coronavirus patients in the US and other parts of the world.

LEAF Pharmaceuticals and 16 other companies were allowed to manufacture drugs against coronavirus using Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin prototypes which are used to treat Malaria and viral diseases respectively.

Dr. Niyikiza said "Coronavirus causes respiratory infections in most of the cases and patients need supplementary oxygen to be able to breathe. We are manufacturing drugs to complement ICU ventilators and the first units will be available in the next three weeks."

Currently, more than 100 drugs to treat coronavirus are being tested and Dr, Niyikiza says they are confident a cure will be identified by the end of the year.

Dr. Karangwa Charles, FDA Ag Director General told IGIHE that LEAF Pharmaceuticals has already requested for a permit to manufacture drugs for oxygen therapy.

"We are still in the negotiation process and intend to provide a permit to LEAF Pharmaceuticals after a thorough evaluation of their capacities and their expertise. Patients will be treated using Glucocorticoids to suppress inflammatory symptoms caused by the coronavirus."

Currently, no cure for coronavirus has been identified. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, cough, and fatigue.

Dr. Clet Niyikiza, the CEO of LEAF Pharmaceuticals said that the company is among other pharmaceutical institutions in the US to conduct research to find a vaccine or cure for coronavirus.Dr. Clet Niyikiza, the CEO of LEAF Pharmaceuticals said that the company is among other pharmaceutical institutions in the US to conduct research to find a vaccine or cure for coronavirus.

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