Anti-Asthma Drug by CSIR Lab

Description and Advantages

India has achieved the hitherto impossible by developing for the first time in the world, a medicine for the relief and remedy of asthma - a suffocating and life threatening disease. "The discovery and development of Asmon - a herbal medicine prepared from the products of five plant - is a remarkable feat for our country when no other country has yet been successful in developing a remedial medicine for asthma," Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CS1R), R A Mashelkar told PTI. The revolutionary new medicine "helps to control asthma symptoms including the acute breathing problem aris ing out of bronchial asthma," Mashelkar said.

Currently available medicines which include zyflow, decadron and deriphylin only provide temporary relief, inflicting severe side effects and later aggravations in return. The new medicine, developed by the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkatta (a unit of CSIR) would address such issues. An asthmatic attack involved inflammation of all or part of the main air passage of the lungs.

A large and sometimes massive influx of blood cells (eosinophils) and other inflammatory cells in the airway wall bring about swelling and mucous secretion in the narrow passage. Biologically active compounds - leukotrienes - are proposed as the causative agent of this phenomenon and prevention of their production by blocking the oxidation of a chemical, arachidonic acid, is thought to be the best treatment.

Asmon's strong activity inhibited the oxidation of arachidonic acid, thereby preventing the formation of leucotrines - the principal mediator of asthma that contribute to the inflammation, swelling and bronchoconstriction (tightening of mucles around the airways).


Chemical Weekly, July 3, 2001