Thursday, May 14, 2009

Aglaia tree compound patented for cancer study

THE state government has patented the Silvestrol/-CBL316, a compound extracted from a species of Aglaia mahogany trees, which is now in pre-clinical research stage for anti-cancer treatment.

The compound was discovered by the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC).

Assistant Minister of Planning and Resource Management Naroden Majais said SBC was identifying, isolating and purifying the compound to be used in pre-clinical research with the National Cancer Institute and the Ohio State University Medical Centre for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

It was doing this in collaboration with the State Forest Department and the State Agriculture Research Centre, he told Vincent Goh (BN-Pelawan).

Naroden said SBC was also collaborating with the National Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation to screen, isolate and develop photodynamic agents from plants such as entemu, kacangma, sembong and lengkuas, which could be activated by light to treat cancers. These plants could have the potential for the development of cancer therapy.
SBC, he said, had also discovered a compound from fungi which could be used to treat Alzheimer's disease.

It was working with the Nimura Genetic Solutions, a Japanese biotech company, on the potential of the compound.