Day 1 :
School of Medicine, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Time : 10:35-11:15
Connie Medlen completed her pre and postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She worked in the Departments of Immunology and Pharmacology at the University for 35 years before her retirement in 2009. In 2014 she was appointed as research Mentor for the Faculty. She has published 132 papers in international journals, presented at 45 international congresses and is the inventor/co-inventor of 6 patents. She publishes under the name of CEJ van Rensburg.
Humic and fulvic acid are natural products derived from the humification process of plant materials. A state owned company, tasked to find medicinal applications for bituminous coal, found a way to produce humic and fulvic acid from coal. We were requested to test these products for applications in the medical field and we found both these products are effective as antiinflammatory products. Fulvic acid also possesses broad spectrum antimicrobial activity in vitro and is effective in the eradication of bacteria including those resistant to antibiotics. Because of the expensive process of converting bituminous coal to humic and fulvic acid, a pharmaceutical company developed a safe and effective potassium humate product from brown coal and a second company developed a process to convert a carbohydrate source to fulvic acid, called carbohydrate derived fulvic acid. rnrnIn preclinical studies we found that the fulvic acid product suppresses the cutaneous immune response in mice whereas, in a phase 1 study done by a PhD student of mine (JJ Gandy), we found the product to be safe at a dosage of 40ml of a 3.8% solution taken twice daily for 3 days. In this clinical study a prelimary skin prick test was also done on the participants. The allergen to which the participants were most allergic, together with histamine and a negative control, were applied at the start and end of the study. A decrease in the wheel and flare reactions was observed in the treatment group. In conclusion we found that the product is safe and effective as an antiinflammatory agent at oral dosages of up to 40ml taken twice daily for one week. rnrnTo evaluate the efficacy and safety of the product as a atopical treatment for eczema, patients were randomely selected to receive fulvic acid or placebo (emolient therapy). A significant improvement in the symptoms was observed in the group treated with the product. In conclusion, the product was well tolerated and effective as a topical treatment for eczema. rn
Tbilisi State Medical University, Georgia
Keynote: Biologically active compounds of plant origin and their synthetic derivatives: Prospective therapeutic agents
Time : 11:30-12:10
Karen Mulkijanyan is the Head of the Department of Pharmacology at Tbilisi State Medical University Institute of Pharmacochemistry and Adviser on Technology Commercialization to afore-named Institute’s Administration. He obtained his MS in Biochemistry in 1981 and PhD in Pharmacy in 2005. His research areas are pharmacology of anti-inflammatory, wound healing and microcirculatory drugs, analysis of SAR and prediction of bioactivity of natural, modified and synthesized compounds. He is the author and co-author of more than 90 papers in peer reviewed journals, about 30 presentations at international scientific meetings, and 2 patents.
Plant extracts are still among the most attractive sources for drug development as they are believed to have no or minor side effects and thus, considered safe for use in humans. However, chemical constituents of many extracts represent serious risks to the human health. Thus, it is necessary to justify biological effects that are present in the vegetal products which are obtained from medicinal plants. For years, our research group is focused on chemical and pharmacological investigation of comfrey (Symphytum asperum and S. caucasicum) and bugloss (Anchusa italica) in order to determine the principal constituents responsible for their diverse curative properties. We succeeded in detecting and obtaining novel biopolymer that is Poly[3-(3.4-Dihydroxyphenyl) Glyceric Acid] (PDGA) from Boraginaceae family representatives Symphytum asperum, S. caucasicum and Anchusa italic and synthesis of its Monomer3-(3, 4-Dihydroxyphenyl) Glyceric Acid (MDGA). Pharmacological properties of PDGA and MDGA were studied both in vitro and in vivo experiments for antioxidant, wound healing, anticancer, leucopoietic properties. The obtained results revealed that, in vitro antioxidant activity and anti-complementary activity due to the inhibition of Xanthine oxidase complement convertase, respectively, abrogation of melanoma cells adhesion to tumor conditioned medium and VEGF-activated endothelial cells and also inhibition of prostate cancer cells growth. Consistent with in vitro results, in vivo study showed strong inhibition of 22Rvl tumors growth without any toxicity, rapid burn and wound healing due to the shortening of the second phase of wound healing that is the inflammatory response and significant stimulation of leucopoiesis in mice drug-induced leucopenia. From the above observed effects, it suggests that PDGA and MDGA have high therapeutic potential.