Editorial: More need to borrow a L.E.A.F from renowned Rwandan scientist

Dr. Clet Niyikiza.

As we continue to closely watch events unfolding in Burundi following the untimely demise of President Pierre Nkurunziza, we keep our fingers crossed.

They are sailing in uncharted waters and the dilemma is all too apparent. If Nkurunziza had died before the presidential elections, it would have been a straight forward matter; the Speaker of the national assembly would have stepped in to organize new elections.


But now there is a president-elect waiting in the wings which complicates matters. Our only wish for them is to find a sound footing as they navigate into the unknown.


But let’s move away from depressing news onto something that raises our spirits and pride,


Clet Niyikiza, a Rwandan national, is the brains behind L.E.A.F Pharmaceuticals, a firm that is behind the cutting edge new discoveries in cancer treatment.

Niyikiza is no stranger to the cancer treatment world. 23 years ago, he and the late Prof Ted Taylor developed Alimta, a cancer drug that is currently used.

So the good news is that another cancer drug L.E.A.F Pharmaceuticals has developed generated a lot of buzz during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s largest cancer conference, held last month

It is said that LEAF-1402 carries a strong punch against cancer cells, 80 times that of Alimta, and it expected to be available by the end of the year.

So, in these gloomy times of the Covid-19 invasion, nothing gives an adrenaline rush than the knowledge that a Rwandan out there is helping conquer one of human kind’s worst enemy; cancer. And, that helps keep the coronavirus out of mind for a change.


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