The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is bracing for the local development of new anti-cancer and antimicrobial drugs.
During the Talakayang HeaRT Beat on the agency’s BIG 21 Tuklas Lunas Projects initiated by the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) on Friday, Nov. 26, DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña expressed hope that the Bioactive Compounds from Marine Sediments project will pave the way for the development of new drugs that can effectively counter the increasing incidence of multidrug-resistant bacteria.
The project entitled “Bioactive Compounds from Marine Sediment-derived Actinomycetes of Iloilo” is implemented by the University of San Agustin and is supported by the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).
It is led by Balik Scientists Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay and Dr. Jonel Saludes.
De la Peña said the project sought to address antimicrobial resistance which is a growing global problem as it threatens our current means to combat bacterial infections.
“This project aims to address this issue through the discovery of novel antimicrobial compounds from marine natural resources.”
He added that aside from addressing addressing multidrug-resistant bacteria, the study was also aimed at isolating bioactive compounds with anticancer activities from marine sediment-derived Actinomycetes of Iloilo.
“Findings of this study will contribute in the local development of new anticancer and also antimicrobial drugs that could effectively counter the increasing incidence of multi drug resistant bacteria, specifically Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species, or collectively known as “ESKAPE” pathogens,” de la Peña said.
De la Peña said the project has already identified at least eight possibly new compounds with antimicrobial and anti-cancer activities.
The project team likewise identified three antibiotic and anti-cancer- producing Actinomycetes, and two antibiotic leads.
The DOST chief said the team “has also published three manuscripts on their findings from 2018 to 2021, patented one invention and two utility models used under the study, and established partnerships with industry and academe.”
“In addition, this project continues to expand our country’s scientific human capacity by training graduate students, interns, and researchers.”
The Bioactive Compounds from Marine Sediments project is one of 62 projects currently implemented by 28 institutions and supported by PCHRD through the Tuklas Lunas Program.