Himalaya's anti-cancer drug project has been underway for the past eight years. Cancer is a result of abnormal cell growth in the body, and once detected, various chemical drugs are administered to stop or eliminate the cell growth. However, these drugs come with a host of side effects, which include nausea, lethargy and hair loss. Herbs have been under the scanner in various research institutes internationally to find an alternative solution for the disease. Globally, Turmeric's principal constituent, curcumin, has been extensively studied by Western researchers and scientists for its antioxidant activity. Researchers continue to study curcumin in relation to normal cell growth ('Common Indian Spice Stirs Hope',Wall Street Journal, 2005).
At Himalaya, researchers have been testing different herbal extracts to find the one that can stop the spread of cancer with no side effects. Our team is developing a drug that will either work as an adjuvant to already available cancer therapies, or be prescribed as a first line of treatment. While the effectiveness of the drug may be at par with conventional medicine, the focus is on developing a herbal solution formulation that is safe and free from side effects. Our formulations are currently being tested on cell lines.
We have also been working on developing an immunomodulator for the past nine years. Herbs are made of many compounds. Rigorous research has been performed to discover the most efficacious and safe chemical active in the herb which will stimulate the immune system. Our formulation has now reached the clinical trial stage.
Diabecon is Himalaya's current offering for diabetes. Studies have shown that the drug is known to lower blood sugar levels in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) patients. When prescribed as an adjuvant, it reduces the dosage of oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) by 30-50% and that of insulin by 20-30%. Diabecon is prescribed by many doctors as a first line of treatment for diabetes. Our R&D team is currently researching formulations to address secondary diabetes-related complications in areas of neuropathy, nephropathy and retinal complications.
Psoriasis is another medical condition for which formulations are currently being clinically tested. It is a chronic, noncontagious autoimmune disease that affects the skin and joints. The team at Himalaya has been working for the past three years to find a remedy for the disease. Over 250 plants have been screened to identify herbs or a composition of herbs that possess all the therapeutic properties required to treat the disease. A unique herbal composition has shown positive results on cell lines. During the next phase of testing, this new herbal composition will pass through stringent efficacy trials in order to arrive at successful topical and oral treatment options for psoriasis.
In the past year, our researchers have discovered potential herbs for the prevention and treatment of various conditions. The team is working on drugs for malaria, women's health, the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and HIV. The research for these conditions is at various preclinical stages. Some compositions are being tested on cell lines and others are still being researched to extract maximum therapeutic benefits.
At Himalaya, we place the utmost importance on research. Often, our scientists recall moments during research when testing a particular herb for one medical condition paved the way for another! Himplasia, our product for Benign Prostrate Hyperplasia (BPH), came about due to one such accidental discovery. The success of Himalaya is our ability to deliver effective, novel drugs, and research is the only way to get there!