Thursday, October 11, 2012

Breakthrough at UoH research labs

Researchers from the School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad have developed a method to address the poor solubility of bio-active agent Curcumin, a potential drug candidate with diverse pharmacological activity and chief ingredient of popular Indian spice turmeric.
Curcumin acts as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but its potential as a drug is limited by poor aqueous solubility, low bio-availability, and short half life in the biological medium.
The therapeutic potential of turmeric (haldi) is well known in the Indian traditional system of medicine, says Prof. Ashwini Nangia, who led the team of Ph.D students in this research.
Prof. Nangia said his Ph.D students, Rajesh Goud, K. Suresh and Palash Sanphui along with U B Rao Khandavilli working at his Technology Business Incubator laboratory in UoH campus prepared solid forms comprising Curcumin that is uniformly mixed with safe additives resulting in so called Eutectic Compositions. “The safe additives effectively enhance the solubility of Curcumin by virtue of their hydrophilic nature. The crystalline eutectic compositions showed no signs of transformation or degradation at ambient conditions.”
Last year his team prepared pharmaceutical cocrystals of Curcumin with equally remarkable solubility improvement which were published in American Chemical Society journal Crystal Growth and Design. He said the latest results on Curcumin Eutectics will appear in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.
“Preliminary analysis of the pharmacological properties of cocrystals and eutectics suggest that they are more soluble than Curcumin and could be suitable for solid dose oral formulation.
Drug development
In drug development, the efficacy of the active component must be enhanced by modifying it into a form that has higher bio-availability and stability but without changing the basic skeleton of the drug molecule.
The cocrystals and eutectics strategy adopted in this project satisfy the above criteria,” according to Prof. Nangia.
Prof. Nangia now plans to study the biological activity and cell specificity of soluble Curcumin cocrystals and eutectics for anti-cancer therapy in collaboration with Life Science Incubator at IKP Knowledge Park, Genome Valley. He feels the ecosystem of biotech-pharma education, research, and innovation cluster in Hyderabad is a key driver to this interdisciplinary programme.

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