This research initiative was established at the GUC with theaim to exploit the vast source of potent new bioactive compounds produced by marine fauna and flora. The classical science of Pharmacy – isolation of natural bioactive compounds – is extended to marine organisms.
To date, some 250 new pharmaceuticals are developed every year that are of marine origin, and this enormousreservoir is not exploited to its potential yet. An additional advantage is that in the sea any secreted substance is immediately diluted into a huge volume, so in order to be active, compounds have to of highest affinity for their target.
Indeed, all major substance classes of comopounds are found in marine organisms, lipids, steroids, comlex annulated systems, peptides and proteins, macrocycles, etc. Surprisingly, marine compounds were found that possess activity against land-borne pathogens such as Hepatitis B, Dengue Fever, or Malaria.
Egypt possesses a unique geographical advantage, as the Red Sea is part of its territory.
Groups within the research cluster have collected samples ofmarine organisms and extracted, furthermore, national and international cooperations also provide access to raw materials.
A second focus is on the extraction of novel pharmaceutically active substances from classical medicinal plants in Egypt.
Participating Research Groups:
A.2 Chemistry of Natural Products
A.3 Pharmaceutical Analysis
Analytical Method Development and Applied Chromatography
B.1 Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology, Metabolomics
D.2 Neurobiochemistry/Ion Channel Pharmacology