IN the effort to expand the coverage of Tuklas Lunas researches across the country considering the Philippines‘ rich biodiversity, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DoST-PCHRD) funded the Discovery and Development of Health Products (DDHP) program, and one of its pioneer program is the Marine Component implemented by the University of the Philippines Diliman – Marine Science Institute.
The ongoing DDHP Marine Component program is comprised of two projects. Project 1 studies anti-pain and anti-neurodegeneration drug candidates to be spearheaded by Dr. Arturo O. Lluisma while the second project is working on the discovery and development of anti-infective and/or anti-cancer compounds from Philippine marine sponges, other marine macroorganisms and their associated microorganisms to be led by Dr. Lilibeth Salvador-Reyes.
Now on its second year of implementation, the program has accomplished the following major activities: Optimization of large-scale synthesis and folding of priority peptides and Intraplantar Hypertonic Saline Assay; sequencing of four priority Conoidean species; molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations; identification of priority bioactive peptides and conopeptides for synthetic and recombinant production; purified three priority compounds, determined the structure for two lufariellolide analogues and IC50 values for anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and Nrf2 activation of lufareillolide and three analogues; additional seven priority isolates ready for batch 2 sequencing, and optimization of electro transformation of two DDHP Phase 1 priority bacterial isolates.
(This article was first published in the The Manila Times Website on September 7, 2021)