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‘One pill for all ills is new mantra’
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 AT 12:45 PM (IST)

PUNE: The focus of new age drug discovery is to have one drug with multiple disease targetting ability. This will help enhance the treatment efficiency, cut down patients' spending on consuming several medicines to treat multiple diseases and reduce chances of side effects, a senior researcher said on Tuesday.


"This is a new concept to bring a completely new type of drugs. These are protein-based drugs, isolated from bacteria. We have at least two such protein-based drugs with multi-disease targeting property. These are active against cancer, HIV-AIDS virus, parasites like malaria, dengue," Prof Ananda Chakrabarty from University of Illinois, Chicago, USA, said.


He was delivering a talk on 'Looking at crystal ball: where will our next generation drugs come from?' He was speaking on the occasion of National Science Day celebrations at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI). The theme is 'Chemistry in our lives.'


"The major problem with diseases like HIV-AIDS is they reduce the immunity system. This results in various opportunistic diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhoea. But we currently treat them with cocktail of drugs, which is very expensive," Chakrabarty said.


According to the senior researcher, one of his goals is to test these microbial proteins for preventing as well treating these diseases.


"Since these protein drugs appear to be active against cancer, HIV-AIDS virus, malarial parasites, we believe that a single drug will be effective against multiple infections" he said.


The researcher has used a peptide P-28 derived from a protein called Azurin and chemically synthesised it.


It has been shown that if there is no side effect, a high dosage of this protein-based drug can be beneficial against cancer patients. They feel better, gain weight, pain is reduced and the tumour is stabilised. it does not grow further. So longevity increases.


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