Lecture Visiting Professors Programme: Shirley Pomponi

24 September 2009 from 15:00 to 16:00 hrs
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Drugs from the deep: opportunities and challenges

Programme KNAW Visiting Professors Lecture SeriesThe oceans are a rich source of both biological and chemical diversity. During the past three decades, thousands of novel, marine-derived biochemicals have been discovered. Many have the potential for development as new pharmaceuticals, several are in advanced preclinical or clinical trials, and two are now clinically available: Prialt®, an analgesic, and Yondelis®, a cancer drug. Development of a sustainable supply of bioactive natural products to meet demands for pre-clinical and clinical testing is a challenge, particularly since conservation of biodiversity may preclude large-scale collections from the environment, and the demand for supply for pre-clinical or clinical evaluation will likely exceed what natural populations can provide. Balancing use and conservation of marine resources presents challenges that can be addressed by the application of marine biotechnology to the development of biological supply alternatives. <br/>