DRDO drug for malaria to hit market within two years

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | Shillong | Updated: Jan 5 2009, 06:37am hrs
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has found a solution for to counter the dreadful malaria in the region by developing a drug from the extracts of the wild plant Gommostama. This wild plant is found in the northeast.

The DRDO chief controller in R&D in life sciences, W Selvamurthy speaking at the 96th Indian Science Congress on Sunday said: We have found the extracts from Gommostama effective in developing a drug for malaria. Our experiments on animals are encouraging. We will soon experiment on human beings. The drug is expected to be in the market within two years.

The DRDO laboratories in Gwalior and Tezpur are engaged in developing this medicine. The malaria causing agents have already developed resistance to the existing medicineschloroquin and artemisin. Hopes are high that the new medicine will solve the problem.

Selvamurthy said that DRDO was working on not only territorial security but also internal, environmental and economic security. DRDO has taken the initiative to develop nuclear, biological and chemical technology, bio-diesel from Jatropha, development of halon alternatives, bio-digesters for human waste management, desalination plants and iron removal units for potable drinking water. It has developed seeds for increasing green cover in Ladakh, particularly for growing potato.

DRDO undertakes research for protective equipment like HAPQ bag, carbogen systems for traiffic police and hyperbaric oxygen chamber for stroke patients.

Cytoscan developed by DRDO is being used for mass screening of rural and tribal women for detection of cervical cancer and Kalam-Raju Stent, countrys first coronary stent, which is being widely used by the cardiologists to dilate constricted arteries. DRDO has developed laproscopic tool for minimally invasive surgery.