Recognition of traditional medicine in the Nobel for artemisinin is inescapable

tuyouyou-homepianoOn whether or not the award of the Nobel Prize to Youyou Tu for the discovery of artemisinin is a vindication of the efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine , it is illuminating to compare certain facts and figures associated with her approach with that of modern antimalarial drug discovery. Tu had tested 200 recipes and 380 herbal extracts, selected on the basis of traditional Chinese medicine literature, in animal models, and identified extracts from Artemisia annua L., the source of artemisinin, with promising parasite growth-inhibiting activity . In contrast, no new class of antimalarials has been introduced into clinical practice after artemisinins in the last 20 years, with high-throughput screening of around 4 million compounds in in vitro assays only resulting in a single compound in clinical trials, the risk of failure of a new antimalarial in phase-2 trial being significant.

Read the full article in Current Science

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