Nigerian scientists patented a sickle cell drug using a traditional herbal remedy—then it all fell apart

The successful development of a drug for the treatment of a sickle cell anaemia using a traditional herbal remedy by Nigerian scientists was widely regarded as a very significant breakthrough in medicine in 1998. Before Niprisan there was only one approved sickle cell drug (Hydroxyurea) but it was bogged down with multiple concerns about its toxic and carcinogenic side effects on patients.

But the commercialization of Niprisan, even with a potential market opportunity estimated to worth over...

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