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New Discoveries for Marine Drug Development

Not long ago, a study team led by GUO Yuewei, a research fellow at CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, and their Italian co-workers have jointly completed an international cooperation project to discover drug precursors in marine organisms, and optimize their structures. Having passed the approval check organized by the Shanghai Municipal S&T Committee, the phase results have produced a range of proprietary precursor compounds that may lead to effective drugs for treating tumors, diabetes, inflammations, and even AIDS disease. Up to date, researchers have screened out a dozen of live precursor compounds from some 1,000 natural marine compounds, and applied for patents for them. In the past two years, researchers have collected diverse invertebrate specimens from the sea floors with a depth ranging from 30m to 70m. They separated numerous precursor compounds that are potentially able to treat human diseases, including type 2 diabetes, lung cancer, liver cancer, and leukemia.

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