Beirut, March 2014 – Hikma has established a scientific collaboration with the American University of Beirut-Nature Conservation Center (AUB-NCC) in March 2014 to pioneer anticancer treatment from medicinal plants.
In addition to financial support, Hikma will help catapult these new potential treatments from the AUB laboratories to the market, thus making them accessible to the general public.
“After thorough evaluation of this opportunity we are excited to enter into such novel collaboration with AUB team,” said Dr Ragheb Al-Shakhshir, Corporate Vice President of Research and Development. “This research has the potential to therapeutically exploit our rich Mediterranean flora and to identify and extract natural compounds to extend our existing oncology portfolio. Hikma R&D will work closely with AUBs’ multi-disciplinary team to identify, test and formulate these new molecules.”
The medicinal plants being studied were chosen after scouring folk medicine archives and identifying the most well-known 29 medicinal plants in Lebanon. This list was narrowed down to two really promising plant species , “Akhilia zat al-alf waraqah”, and “Shawk al-dardar,”, commonly known as yarrow and loggerheads or knapweed, respectively. The two plants were found effective against colon and skin cancer, they also show promising effects on leukemia and breast cancer.