At a time when the healthcare industry is increasingly dependent on marine derived bio-active compounds for various diseases, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) will soon launch a natural product from the sea against thyroid disorder
KOCHI, 14 February 2018: At a time when the healthcare industry is increasingly dependent on marine derived bio-active compounds for various diseases, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) will soon launch a natural product from the sea against thyroid disorder.
The CMFRI has already developed nutraceutical products for diabetes, arthritis and cholesterol from marine organisms such as seaweeds and green mussel.
Speaking at the valedictory of the three-week long Winter School held by the CMFRI to train young researchers in extracting medicines from the marine organisms, Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of the CMFRI said the marine nutraceutical product developed by the Institute for thyroid dysfunction is in the final stage of clinical trial.
“The product will be commercialised soon after the successful completion of the clinical experiment”, he said.
In addition, the CMFRI would develop more such natural products including cosmeceuticals from the marine organisms, Dr Gopalakrishnan said.
“The CMFRI will seek the possibilities of interaction with the industry commercialise the natural marine products developed from the laboratories of the Institute”, he added.
“High value bioactive metabolites from the marine organisms are attracting attention because of the growing demand for new compounds of ‘marine natural’ origin, having potential applications in pharmaceutical fields. The functional foods, enriched with natural ingredients have been proved providing beneficial action for human health”, he said.
“CMFRI is the pioneering marine research institute in India to work in the frontier area of bioactive molecule discovery from marine organisms as promising therapeutic agents against various diseases. The four nutraceutical products developed by the CMFRI in past has a huge demand in healthcare market”, Dr Gopalakrishnan said.
The 21-day long Winter School was conducted by the Marine Biotechnology Division of the CMFRI to train 23 scientists and teachers in the area from across the country on recent advances in bioactive compounds from marine organisms and developing high-value products for better health management.
During the training programme, theory and practical classes along with field visits were conducted to provide the participants a hands-on-experience in developing products from marine origin. Eminent scientists and experts from different corners of the world who have expertise in the field of marine natural product chemistry delivered lectures in the area of marine bioactive compounds and conducted practical classes.
Dr T K Srinivasa Gopal, former Director of the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) was the Chief Guest at the valedictory function of the Winter School. The rich diversity of flora and fauna in the marine and coastal habitats of the Indian subcontinent is still an untapped reservoir of bioactive compounds with valuable pharmaceutical and biomedical use, he said.
“Even as these groups of marine organism are underutilised, the average proportion of bioactive compounds among the new compounds is declining during the last decade. Various medicinal and biomedical products from marine organisms have a myriad of benefits for human health and multiple life-threatening diseases, and therefore, are the attractive options for the food and pharmaceutical industry” he said.
Dr P Vijayagopal, Head of the Marine Biotechnology Division and Dr Kajal Chakraborty, Course Director of the Winter School spoke on the occasion.
Photo caption: A view of the hands-on training at the CMFRI laboratory during a 21-day Winter School to train young researchers in marine bioactive compounds.