Day 1 :
University of Catania, Italy
Keynote: The use of food supplements in the treatment of ophthalmic diseases: Animal models and clinical studies
Time : 9:00-10:00
Dario Rusciano has completed his PhD at university of catania, Italy in 1979. He has been involved as a Post-doctorate and Project Leader in basic research on cancer metastasis at the Sclavo pharmaceutical company of Siena, Italy from 1982 to 1989 and then at the Friedrich Miescher Institute of Basel, Switzerland until the year 2000. He then shifted his interests towards translational research in ophthalmology, working as Lab Leader for the next seven years in SIFI, a pharmaceutical company based in Sicily, Italy and then at SOOFT, another pharmaceutical company now owned by Fidia Pharmaceuticals, Abano Terme, Italy, where he has been appointed Scientific Director.
Age-dependent Macular Degeneration (AMD), Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) claim each year the sight of many thousand patients worldwide. There is no cure for these diseases and the best we can do is to try and slow down their progression. Therefore, early diagnosis is mandatory so that palliative treatments can be started as soon as possible. In the absence of a definitive drug treatment for each of these pathologies, food supplements play a relevant role in the control of their progression. Animal models of disease have allowed establishing the way food supplements may work and provide a proof of concept of how they may interfere with the mechanisms behind the progression of each disease, encouraging further verification in clinical trials. POAG is a pathology in which the elevated Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor that triggers the progressive death of retinal ganglion cells (RGC: Forming the optic nerve), finally leading to loss of vision. Therefore, the two main strategies for POAG control are the reduction of IOP and the neuroprotection to increase the survival chances of RGC. Food supplements based on Coleus forskohlii extracts enriched in forskolin and homotaurine have shown a good efficacy, both preclinical and clinical, in controlling POAG progression. AMD is another kind of retinal degenerative disease, in which the prolonged oxidative stress during a lifetime produces an amount of debris (the so-called ‘drusen’) that accumulates between the pigmented epithelium layer (on which photoreceptors rest) and the choroid. The consequent inflammatory events, in which activated macrophages play a determinant role, eventually lead to the breaking of the thin Bruch’s membrane that separates the retina from the nutritive choroid (made of a capillary network), triggering the invasion of blood vessels into the macular region of the retina (normally avascular). The resulting hemorrhages and edemas dramatically impair vision. Food supplements based on a specific and calibrated fatty acids mixture appear to be able to control the inflammatory process, decrease the damage at the retina and improve its physiological response. Similarly, a different, but analogue, fatty acid formulation has been shown to be able to delay the neurological damage (including the optic nerve) caused by demyelination in a model system of autoimmune induced encephalopathy. DR is a common complication of diabetes, occurring when there is an insufficient control of blood sugar levels. Long term hyperglycemia causes a constant oxidative stress, resulting in endothelial dysfunction and angiopathies that also involve the retina among other organs. Hemorrhages, edemas and focal ischemias characterize the early stages; neovessel formation and invasion into the macular region are typical of the late stages. Food supplements are needed in this case, endowed with the properties to control blood sugar levels and protect endothelial cells from oxidative damage and the capillaries from degenerating events. Lipoic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, resveratrol, ginkgo biloba, chromium are some of the components of food supplements that may help in the early and late stages of this disease.
Central Research Institute of Homoeopathy Noida, India
Time : 10:00-11:00
Renu Arya has completed Post-graduation in Pharmaceutical Sciences with specialization in Pharmacognosy in 2009. She had 10 years of experience in teaching and research in the field of pharmaceutical sciences. She has published and presented more than 50 researches and review papers in the national and international journals and presented at various scientific programs globally. She joined Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) in 2016 as Research Officer (Pharmacognosy). She is working as Coordinator of drug standardization program of council and looking after the standardization work on homoeopathic medicines being carried out at the units of council namely, DDPRCRI, Noida, DSU, Hyderabad and CMPRH, Ooty. In a short span of her service in council, she has made herself conversant with the entire work of drug standardization, regulatory issues pertaining to homoeopathic drugs and has a zeal and conviction to work for development of homoeopathic drug as a whole by addressing the identity, quality and safety issues with innovative ideas.
India has its own unique health care delivery system. There is a provision of multiple systems of medicines for the promotion of health and prevention/cure of diseases. Integration of different philosophies in the delivery of health services is challenging but viable. Quality control is always been a challenge to every path of treatment which is directly dealing with the use of medicines derived from different sources and techniques. When it comes to homeopathic drugs which works on the principle of high dilutions of potentially active molecules retain a memory of the original substance it becomes even more important that the amount and quality of starting material depends on the method of preparation which should be standardized and controlled. The quality of source materials and of the excipients used in the manufacture of homeopathic medicines also leads to production of safe and effective drugs. Success in homoeopathic prescribing is based upon the purity and quality of drugs. A sub-standard drug will not produce desired therapeutic results. Standardization is essential to ensure purity, safety and efficacy of homoeopathic drugs. It is one of most fundamental prerequisites study for introduction of drug or formulation in clinical practice. Drug standardization study plays major role to ensure genuineness/authenticity, purity, quality, safety and efficacy of raw drugs as well as finished products used in homoeopathy. Every person engaged directly or indirectly in manufacturing, import, distribution should meet the relevant requirements as laid down in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) described in Sub rule (2) of Rule 85E of D&C Rules 1945 with conditions specified in Schedule M-1 which includes effective process controls, quality check on source materials, validated analytical methods, adequate buildings, good storage and sanitary conditions. It is high time that the available drugs should be of utmost quality and safe to consume.