Drugs from ocean

Status of Extraction of Potential Drugs from the Ocean

Many of the drugs that we use today are derived from natural resources and many are from terrestrial resources. Penicillium, Aspergillus and many Mushrooms, Bacterial species are known to produce active chemical compounds that are widely used to cure or prevent human conditions. Ocean is known to have large number of identified and unidentified forms of species and rich in biodiversity. Scientists are also extracting drugs from marine species. Some of the active chemicals that could be useful for human health benefits extracted from ocean are:

Ecteinascidin: Extracted from tunicates; being tested in humans for treatment of breast and ovarian cancers and other solid tumors

Discodermalide: Extracted from deep-sea sponges belonging to the genus Discodermia; anti-tumor agent

Bryostatin: Extracted from the bryozoan, Bugula neritina; potential treatment for leukemia and melanoma

Pseudopterosins: Extracted from the octocoral (sea whip) Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae; anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents that reduce swelling and skin irritation and accelerate wound healing

w-conotoxin MVIIA: Extracted from the cone snail, Conus magnus; potent pain-killer

In India, recently CSIR data base screened nearly 2654 compounds derived from ocean for such chemicals – Healthy life

CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute was the nodal lab for MoES. A total of 2654 compounds were screened for different activities for Anti-Cancer, Anti-Angiogenic, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-Bacterial, and GPCR profiling. Specifically for Anticancer activity of compounds submitted through MoES program was evaluated on five different cancer-type cell lines (MDA-MB231, DLD-1, FaDu, HeLa, and A549) as per standard operating protocol (SOP).

1. With this endeavor a potent Anti-cancer molecule named GS/IICT5/6has been identified. The molecule has shown a better tumor inhibitory profile as compared to Sunitinib. Currently, the molecule has cleared the initial safety profile. The molecule will be evaluated further.

2. On similar lines Cancer patients suffer from neuropathic pain after chemotherapy. In this endeavors for relieving the patient suffering using the MoES programme, a novel compound SB/CDRI4/105 that can alleviate chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathic pain has been discovered. Currently, the molecule is also in the advanced stages of lead optimization and IND-enabling studies will be enabled shortly.

3. A very potent molecule SP/NISER29, a new class drug having anti-cancer activity has been identified. The molecule has shown potent anti-tumor activity in the animal model better than taxol. The compound has very good stability and disrupts the cytoskeletal filaments. This does not meet the criteria for further development and the data has been published.

This information was given by the Minister for State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences

References: For further read on CSIR investigation – Press Information Bureau (pib.gov.in)


Image credit: Image by David Mark from Pixabay (CC by 0)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: July 5, 2023

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