US patent has been obtained by Dr. Jayantha Wijayabandara, former coordinator and Senior Lecturer of the B. Pharm Degree Program, Faculty of Medical Sciences, for a novel pharmacological property of β – Amyrin Acetate derived from Tabernaemontana dichotoma (Sinhala – Divi Kaduru) as a potent α – glucosidase inhibitor.
This discovery also provides for the use of this compound as a novel oral hypoglycemic drug in the treatment of type II diabetes being approximately 35 times potent compared with Acarbose, a standard drug widely prescribed to type II diabetes patients.
Non insulin – dependent diabetes (NIDDM) or type II diabetes is expending at an alarming rate around the world for a multitude of reasons. Alpha – glucosidase inhibitors are suggested to be valuable aids in the treatment of diabetes. They act by delaying the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, thereby lowering postprandial blood glucose levels.
Dr. Wijayabandara and his research team at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (H. E. J. Research Institute of Chemistry and Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research), University of Karachi, Pakistan are now working to explore commercialization of this invention through developing this molecule into a pharmaceutically elegant dosage form.
Dr. Wijayabandara’s achievement has brought prestige not only to the University of Sri Jayewardenepura but also to Sri Lanka as a whole. And also, his achievement will give an encouragement towards the advancement of academic research in the University system in Sri Lanka.
He would like to acknowledge Former President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha and Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Former Secretary to the President for releasing funds from the President’s fund for obtaining this patent.