Philippines researchers are studying marine microorganisms in sponges that may lead to the production of new drugs for tuberculosis, pneumonia and other infectious diseases, and snails that could provide anti-pain agents, according to the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Researchers from the Marine Science Institute (MSI), University of Philippines have isolated microorganisms associated with sponges and are currently confirming their anti-infective properties or ability to combat infections. The team was led by Gisela Concepcion, UP's Vice President for Academic Affairs.
This is part of the program called Pharmaseas Marine Drug Development Program which was funded by Department of Science and Technology--Philippine Council for Marine and Aquatic Resources Research and Development (PCMARRD).
Another achievement of the Pharmaseas program is the discovery of anti-pain drugs from the venom of turrid snails. Anti-pain drugs are important in the treatment of cancer and other debilitating illnesses.
Gisela said it will take some time to apply their research findings to the production of drugs.