The country’s researchers have discovered bioactive peptides from marine organisms that may be used to treat pain, infections and cancer, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Friday, Nov. 26.
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the project team, led by Dr. Arturo Lluisma from the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute made the discovery during the third year implementation of the “Anti-pain Peptides from Marine Organisms” project.
“Now on its third year of implementation, the project has discovered bioactive peptides and compounds that exhibit significant potential for therapeutic applications in the treatment of pain, infections, and cancer and identified their structural and functional characteristics,” he said during the Talakayang HeaRT Beat on the agency’s BIG 21 Tuklas Lunas Projects initiated by the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) on Friday.
He said the team conducted a large-scale synthesis of priority peptides and open-sea mariculture of bioactive sponges and designed the Discovery and Development of Health Products (DDHP) Marine Component database.
“Depending on the data results and if deemed favorable, the peptides may be used to develop affordable and accessible medical treatment for pain, infections, and cancer, which are considered pressing health concerns in the country,” de la Peña said.
The project builds from Phase 1 of the DDHP: Marine Component program which focused on the isolation of peptides from marine organisms into possible drug leads for anti-pain and anti-neurodegeneration.
Phase 2 of the program has two project components which focus on purifying and assessing anti-pain and anti-neurodegenerative activities of isolated peptides in animal models, and studying anti-infective and anti-cancer drug candidates from marine sponges and microorganisms.