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Merging Traditional Chinese Medicine with Modern Drug Discovery Technologies to Find Novel Drugs and Functional Foods

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Abstract:

Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) are rapidly gaining attention in the West as sources of new drugs, dietary supplements and functional foods. However, lack of consistent manufacturing practices and quality standards, fear of adulteration, and perceived deficiencies in scientific validation of efficacy and safety impede worldwide acceptance of TCM. In addition, Western pharmaceutical industries and regulatory agencies are partial toward single ingredient drugs based on synthetic molecules, and skeptical of natural product mixtures. This review concentrates on three examples of TCM-derived pharmaceuticals and functional foods that have, despite these usual obstacles, risen to wide acceptance in the West based on their remarkable performance in recent scientific investigations. They are: Sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua), the source of artemisinin, which is the currently preferred single compound anti-malarial drug widely used in combination therapies and recently approved by US FDA; Thunder god vine (Tripterygium wilfordii) which is being developed as a botanical drug for rheumatoid arthritis; and green tea (Camellia sinensis) which is used as a functional beverage and a component of dietary supplements.





Keywords: (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG); Artemisia annua; Camellia sinensis; Tripterygium wilfordii; artemisinin; functional foods; nutraceuticals; traditional Chinese medicine (TCM); tripdiolide; triptolide

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Due to the plethora of new approaches being used in modern drug discovery by the pharmaceutical industry, Current Drug Discovery Technologies has been established to provide comprehensive overviews of all the major modern techniques and technologies used in drug design and discovery. The journal is the forum for publishing both original research papers and reviews describing novel approaches and cutting edge technologies used in all stages of drug discovery. The journal addresses the multidimensional challenges of drug discovery science including integration issues of the drug discovery process.

    Current Drug Discovery Technologies is an essential journal for all scientists and research managers involved in drug discovery who wish to keep abreast of all the modern techniques and technologies used in drug discovery.
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