Cuba promotes the use of Thalassia as an anticancer product

Cuba impulsa uso de Thalassia como producto anticancerígeno

HAVANA, May 19  Cuban environmentalists are evaluating today the possibilities of applying the new project called Thalassia testudinum, one of the species that are part of the national seagrasses.

The deliberations on the subject will be in plenary session in a specialized workshop, which will be held at the Tryp Habana Libre hotel, reported one of its promoters, the Environment Agency (AMA), of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA). ).

He added that it constitutes an initiative aimed at its conservation, sustainable use and taking advantage of its anticancer properties in the development of pharmaceutical products.

It has the collaboration of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), CITMA and its execution is in charge of the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICIMAR). ), of the WADA.

The Office of Regulation and Environmental Safety (ORSA), the Marine Research Center (CIM), belonging to the University of Havana, and Laboratorios Oriente, of the Business Group of the Cuban biopharmaceutical industry (BioCubaFarma), also cooperate in its achievement.

With a duration of 4 years, its actions will support the completion of scientific research to form the application file for a clinical trial of a pharmaceutical product and will accompany the design of management protocols and recommendations for the conservation and sustainable use of seagrasses by local communities, AMA noted.

The evaluation of the environmental quality of the seagrass ecosystem in the intervention sites will also be carried out, including its carbon removal capacity, in areas of Eastern Havana, the north of Camagüey and the south of Santiago from Cuba.

He expressed his confidence in the fact that its results can be achieved through the participation of scientific institutions, the Cuban pharmaceutical industry and the community of Rincón de Guanabo, in Havana.

He stated that its application will contribute to strengthening the national regulatory framework for the implementation in the country of the Nagoya Protocol (Japan) on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing in the Benefits Derived from their Utilization.

The latter is known by the acronym in English ABS, to which Cuba adhered in 2015, after depositing its supporting documents at the UN headquarters in New York.

Thalassia testudinum is one of the most common seagrass species on the coast of Havana and the Caribbean, where its meadows protect the coast against the effect and intensity of waves in the event of extreme hydrometeorological phenomena.

In addition, they serve as a habitat for other growing marine species, as a source of food and help regulate carbon levels in the atmosphere through its absorption or sequestration.

Cuban researchers value the use of some of its components, through its industrial processing, as providers of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antithrombotic, hypocholesterolemic, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.

They estimate its effectiveness against the acute damage produced by ultraviolet radiation on the skin in acute inflammations.