New Drug from the Sea
I have long held a thought that nature has provided us, somewhere out there, cures and treatments for everything, and our challenge is to find them. If you believe this even a little, it is another reason to fear and mourn the disappearance of the rain forests, the shrinking of the ice cap, the changes in the natural world. This fanciful theory of mine recently was reinforced by the discovery of a new cancer drug, Halaven, deep in the sea--specifically in a black sponge that lives off the coast of Japan. Now, who and how was that ever found?
Here is a quick excerpt from an article in the Wall Street Journal about this and a link to read more:
Amid a dry spell for breakthrough cancer drugs, recent U.S. approval of Eisai Co.'s Halaven represents some vindication for a small group of researchers who believe, contrary to recent pharmaceutical fashion, that molecules from nature hold promise against hard-to-treat diseases.
The Food and Drug Administration's approval of Halaven in November for treating late-stage breast cancer was a triumph of chemistry and tenacious research. Its path, extending nearly three decades from the first studies, demonstrates not only potential benefits but also some of the hurdles in the hunt within nature's bounty for drugs of the future.