Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia has at least 33,000 species of herbal plants that have the potential to become medicinal ingredients, yet only few of them have been used, Indonesia Window quoted from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences’ (LIPI) website here on Thursday.
“Only about 800 species of herbal plants have become medicinal ingredients, around 30 species have become standardized-herbal medicines, and only about 12 to 14 species have become phytopharmacy products,” Head of LIPI Laksana Tri Handoko stated in a seminar on Drug Discovery and Development in Indonesia: From Biodiversity to Medicine in Cibinong, West Java on Wednesday (Feb 19).
Handoko said there were a lot of biodiversity in Indonesia that should be explored to make them medicinal ingredients which required a long process.
“Therefore, we collaborate with many parties, both at home and abroad,” he said.
According to Handoko, LIPI is collaborating with PharmaMar from Spain to research drug ingredients for anticancer medicines.
“We hope the collaboration with PharmaMar will work well to discover the best treatment for cancer,” he said.
Handoko added that this year LIPI would build the National Genomic and Environmental Building and the National Biological Building to store a number of collections.
Meanwhile, Masteria Yunovilsa Putra from LIPI’s Biotechnology Research Center explained the institue was researching red ginger, red rosella and sea cucumbers.
“We are now focusing on sea cucumbers as an anti-cancer component. We are also trying to produce standardized-medicines and phytopharmacy products from Indonesia’s biodiversity,” he said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window