Jamaica Wants to Establish Plant-Based Medicine Research Center

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The Jamaica government says there are plans to establish a center in Jamaica to further advance plant-based medicine research.Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister,  Audley Shaw says a “programme of cooperation” involving noted Jamaican scientist and businessman, Dr. Henry Lowe as well as  Dr. Julius Garvey, the son of National Hero Marcus Garvey; and the Director at Harvard University Medical School, Dr. Wilfred Ngwa, is being finalized for the associate research center’s establishment.“In fact, Dr. Ngwa will soon be visiting Jamaica to further advance these discussions as Jamaica’s unique microclimatic conditions place us in an enviable position globally,” Shaw told the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).Shaw noted that of just over 100 plants which are known and used for medicines, 51 are indigenous to Jamaica.“We must also not forget that Dr. Lowe and others have developed plant-based medicines in Jamaica that are now world-renowned, and are presently submitting more applications for further development of additional plant-based medicines to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States Government,” he added.Shaw said a recent study by Harvard University scientists which showed that cannabis can potentially help cancer victims is “very significant.”He said he first became aware of this “potentially significant initiative” while attending a conference on plant medicines, hosted by Dr. Nwga at Harvard in June.The Minister said given Jamaica’s “unique” history with respect to cannabis and many other plant-based medicines, “exciting days” are ahead for the country in this regard.Shaw indicated that the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has now issued 54 licenses to cannabis entrepreneurs, and will shortly complete export regulations to facilitate the legal export of cannabis raw materials, such as buds and oil extracts.For his part, CLA Director, Delano Seiveright, said with pancreatic cancer predicted to be the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths by 2020, the medical breakthrough by Harvard’s scientists is a “major victory” for the cannabis industry.“The significance here is that the life expectancy for cancer patients could significantly increase. We, in Jamaica, have to continue to do our part in ensuring that we are ready to capitalize on medicinal marijuana and the important role it is playing in scientific discovery,” he said.Scientists from Harvard University’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in their study published in the journal ‘Frontiers of Oncology’ on July 23, revealed that a chemical found in cannabis has demonstrated “significant therapy potential” for treating pancreatic cancer.The resulting drug, ‘FBL-03G’, is said to be a derivative of a cannabis flavonoid, the naturally occurring compound found in plants, vegetables and fruits which, among other things, provides their color.The results, according to Dr. Ngwa, one of the study’s researchers, are “major.“The most significant conclusion is that tumor-targeted delivery of flavonoids, derived from cannabis, enabled both local and metastatic tumor cell kill, significantly increasing survival from pancreatic cancer,” he noted.Dr. Ngwa said the significance of this is that, because pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed in later stages, once it has spread, and the flavonoids have proven capable of destroying killing other cancer cells, this could mean the life expectancy of those with the condition could increase,” the noted academic added.“If successfully translated clinically, this will have a major impact on the treatment of pancreatic cancer”.last_img read more

Appiah is better than Dujkovic and Rajevac – Randy Abbey

first_imgGhana FA Executive Committee Member Randy Abbey insists Akwasi Appiah is better than Milovan Rajevac and Ratomir Dujkovic who chalked massive success with the Black Stars during their reign.Appiah will be leading Ghana to its third successive World Cup finals haven presided over aflambouyant qualification series.Some soccer fans however harbour some doubt over whether the ex Black Stars skipper is the best man to take the team to next year’s finals in Brazil – with sceptics quick to point out to the massive achievements of Ratomir Duijkovic and Milovan Rajevac.Duijkovic led Ghana to its first World Cup qualification – where the Black Stars emerged as the only African side to make it out of the group stage in Germany 2006.‘Doya’s’ Serbian compatriot Milovan Rajevac then took the team to even greater heights four years later to a quarter final finish in South Africa.Many are now casting doubts over Akwasi Appiah’s ability to equal or even surpass the featof these expatriate coaches with Ghana drawn in a tough group alongside Germany, Portugal and USA. Abbey who worked closely with Appiah at the U23 level to deliver gold for Ghana at the 2011 All Africa Games is bemused by the subtle rising pessimism over Appiah’s ability at the biggest stage despite presiding over a flambouyant qualification campaign.“We know how we are able to help coaches to succeed and we’ve being doing same for Akwasi Appiah,” Abbey said on GTV’s Stage Africa show.“And I can sit here and say that at least over the last 10 years, of all the coaches that we’ve brought in to handle the Black Stars, none of them have performed better than Akwasi Appiah.“We can get into the statistics, we can look at the issues. But there is still that level of doubt.“I don’t know whether it is a function of colonialism or ne-colonialism or inferiority complex, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.”last_img read more