KARACHI: “Diabetes is an old disease which poses a new challenge to the human well being. The role of academic institutions in drug development, particularly in developing world, is gradually diminishing. The decision of developing a drug by multinational companies is largely commercial, rather than human-need based. As a result, large number of diseases affecting the lives of poor population of the South remains untreated.”
Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhary, Director International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) – University of Karachi (UoK), said this on Tuesday while delivering a lecture in the 5th International Symposium-Cum-Training Course on Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (January 12 to 15, 2015) being held at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS). Over 350 scientists, including 60 scientists from 28 countries, are attending the international event, organised by Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), KU.
Dr. Iqbal Chaudhary said that drug discovery and development was primarily an interdisciplinary process, right at the interface of chemistry and biology. He said modern drug development was expensive and lengthy which required over $1.8 to 2.0 million worth of investment and focused work of a large interdisciplinary team of scientists involving years of efforts and screening of thousands of compounds.
This level of investment and human resources are only available with the large multinational conglomerates, he maintained and added that this situation has outnumbered and out-resourced the academic institutions and pharmaceutical R&D of developing nations. Talking about the multi-drug-resistant pathogens, he said that a rapid decline in research and development on new antibiotics coincided with increasing frequency of infections caused by multi-drug-resistant pathogens.
He said, “The outbreak of the most common bacterial pathogen, namely Staphylococcus aureus is now widespread throughout the world, which causes skin, soft-tissue and endovascular infections as well as pneumonia, septic, arthritis, endocarditis, osteomyelitis and sepsis. The key reason of bacterial resistance is the indiscriminate of suboptimal use of antibiotics.”
During the first two days of the symposium, various lectures of the national and international scientists were held on different scientific issues.