A total of 11 regional hubs discovery development with 28 implementing institutions all over the country have been established by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña (TOTO LOZANO/ Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

This is part of the accomplishments of the Tuklas Lunas Program reported by DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Pena to the members of the Natural Products Society of the Philippines.

DOST said that this priority program spearheaded by DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) envisions producing world-class medicines derived from the Philippine biodiversity leveraging on local expertise.

DOST mentioned that these Tuklas Lunas Development Centers (TLDCs) undertake screening of plants/bacteria/marine organisms from various regions for various disease indications.

Priority plants/bacteria/sponges are being developed under the herbal and/or drug track. Developed also are various functional food products such as crackers, nori-like wrappers, nutribar, chips and gummy candies from ferns and mushrooms.

With various R&D projects being pursued under the program, 23 standardized dosage forms for inflammation, diabetes, gout and anti-hypertension were already presented to industry for early licensing or partnerships.

DOST said that the program has already a library of 2000 and more extracts from terrestrial (plant and fungi) with their bioactivity and toxicity profile studied. There are already bioactive hits for infections, inflammation, pain, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, gout and cancer which can later be licensed out or improved further through synthesis and derivatization.

Research on natural products for COVID-19 were also undertaken, said DOST.

These include studies on virgin coconut oil as adjunct therapy to COVID-19 patients; clinical trial that determines if Lagundi (Vitex negundo) can provide symptomatic relief for COVID-19 patients; and studies to provide data on the safety and efficacy of herbal formulations like tawa-tawa against COVID-19.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/12/17/dost-identifies-11-regional-hubs-in-producing-world-class-medicines/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dost-identifies-11-regional-hubs-in-producing-world-class-medicines)