Government of India
Ministry of Earth Sciences,
Prithvi Bhavan,IMD Campus, Opp. India Habitat Centre,Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110003
Drugs from Sea
Oceans are a wealth of organisms with pharmaceutical value. The The scientific community is focusing its efforts on the isolation and characterization of biologically active compounds derived from marine organisms. These compounds generally are small molecules ideally suited to serve either as themselves or through chemical modification as potential new pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of a variety of ailments including cancer.
The national project on Drugs from Sea taken up by the Department during 1990-91, is a multi-institutional project aiming at developing potential drugs and chemicals from the marine flora and fauna. Over 450 species of marine biota which have been subjected to evaluation, have yielded valuable clues for developing potent drugs. This project which entered its 3rd phase in 1996-97, has led to identification of five marine organisms showing potent activity as anti-diabetic, anti-viral, anti-anxiety, anti-cholestrol and larvicidal agents. One herbal anti- diabetic drug is likely to be developed in the International Year of the Ocean, 1998. The achievements under this National Programme, during 1997-98 include:
Collection and identification of 200 new marine flora and fauna for chemical extraction and bio-evaluation.
Continuation of the process of Biological evaluation of 5 organisms possessing anti-viral, anti-diabetic, anti-cholestrol, anti-anxiotic, wound-healing and larvicidal activities.
Initiation of clinical trials of active extracts, regulatory pharma- cology and taxicology.