Kerala’s local herb ‘Manathakkali’ approved for liver cancer, research gets US FDA green light – The New Indian Express
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Manathakkali’ (black nightshade or Solanum nigrum), a berry shrub found in the backyard, is traditionally known for its medicinal value. Today, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noticed the potential of a compound isolated from the plant to treat liver cancer, thanks to the findings of a team of scientists at the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology (RGCB).
The US agency has given the compound an “orphan drug” designation, which helps in the development and evaluation of new treatments for rare diseases. It will also help speed up the approval of the drug. RGCB lead scientist Dr Ruby John Anto, who, along with her student Dr Lekshmi R Nath, isolated the drug molecule – Uttroside-B – from the leaves of the Manathakkali plant, said: “It doesn’t There is only one FDA approved drug available for the treatment of liver cancer at present. The compound we developed has been shown to be more effective than the one available. Toxicity evaluation in human volunteers has shown that the compound is also effective in the treatment of fatty liver disease.
The technology they patented was purchased by US pharmaceutical company QBioMed. The technology transfer was done through the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
According to RGCB director Dr Chandrabhas Narayana, the research will prove to be a major breakthrough in the treatment of liver disease, including liver cancer.
Manathakkali: RGCB Director Says Results Revolutionary
âThe results are revolutionary, as the liver, which primarily detoxifies food while aiding digestion, is increasingly susceptible to cancer in modern times. It is estimated that malignant liver disease kills as many as 8 lakhs of people per year even though 9 lakhs of new cases are reported each year, âsaid the director of the RGCB. Dr Ruby and his team are currently studying the compound’s mechanism of action and evaluating its efficacy against fatty liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and liver cancer caused by food toxins. This is done in collaboration with Dr L Ravishankar (CSIR-NIST, Thiruvananthapuram), who has developed a new method to isolate the compound from the leaves of Solanum nigrum.