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40.000 historic formulations as starting point for new drugs

EPICLEAP (Anti-Epileptic Compounds Leveraging Ancient Prescriptions) receives partial fundingResearch project EPICLEAP receives partial funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

March 12, 2014 – BICOLL Group, Munich/ Germany and Shanghai/ PR China and the Horst-Görtz-Endowment Institute for the Theory, History and Ethics of Chinese Life Sciences, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, have announced today to receive a partial funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for their scientific joint project EPICLEAP (Anti-Epileptic Compounds Leveraging Ancient Prescriptions).

Charite Berlin LogoContributing to the development of novel human therapeutics, the project will scientifically evaluate more than 40.000 hand-written, pharmaceutical recipes from China, dating from the 18th to the 20th century. The texts are currently stored in libraries in Berlin/ Germany.

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research - BMBFIn a big data approach, the project partners will analyze this substantial data pool with a focus on quantitative relations between historically conveyed substances and compound compositions from plants on the one hand and their correlation to modern, therapeutic indications on the other hand, e.g. for the treatment of epilepsy.

BICOLL’s part will be the identification of active plant substances and their further delivery to screening systems.[1] In addition BICOLL will coordinate the prospective utilization of the database concerning a fast identification of leads for drug development in other indications.

The project is based on an assumption that recipes, which have produced a positive medical effect on patients, have gained a statistic advantage by recommendation and re-usage over time. The project intends to identify substances from these recipes that could be perfect starting points for the development of new drugs by the pharmaceutical industry. Hence, EPICLEAP is fully in line with Chinese initiatives to analyze traditional Chinese knowledge about diseases and their therapy through molecular biology, and to integrate the findings into modern medical science.[2] To further expand the results of this project to additional therapeutic indications BICOLL welcomes further partners.

The project has a volume of more than 1 million Euros, and is planned to last from the beginning of 2014 through 2016.

“With EPICLEAP we will contribute to strengthen research on Chinese life sciences in Germany. We are convinced that these centuries-long applied and transmitted recipes will not only offer starting points for new drugs in the therapeutic area of epilepsy. Nature and evolution are the most creative suppliers regarding new ideas in drug discovery. More than two thirds of the 200 top-selling drugs in modern medicine are derived from nature”, explained Dr. Kai Lamottke, Managing Director of BICOLL, on the occasion of the project’s start in Berlin.

Further Publications:

[1] Helleboid, S.; Haug C.; Lamottke K.; Zhou Y.; Wei J.; Daix S.; Cambula L.; Rigou G.; Hum D.W.; Walczak, R. “The Identification of Naturally Occurring Neoruscogenin as a Bioavailable, Potent, and High-Affinity Agonist of the Nuclear Receptor RORa (NR1F1)” Journal of Biomolecular Screening, 2014, 19, 399-406.

[2] Unschuld, Paul U. Traditionelle Chinesische Medizin. CH Beck, 2013.

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