ABS Biodiscovery Case in Uruguay

ABS Biodiscovery Case in Uruguay

Traditional medicine usage of Pitanga leaves directs the search for potential treatment against colon cancer.

In Uruguay, the native species Eugenia uniflora (Myrtaceae), popularly known as Pitanga, has a wide use in traditional medicine. This shrub, common in the countryside and in the gardens of houses in cities as an ornamental plant, has bright green leaves that are used for the preparation of infusions with carminative, antidiarrheal and anti-inflammatory properties.

A research group from Cenur Litoral Norte of the Universidad de la República has proposed the study of Pitanga as a potential source of anticarcinogenic agents, that might help to face the high incidence of colon cancer in Uruguay. This type of cancer occupies the third place of incidence and mortality in men, and the second in women, being the most frequent digestive neoplasm.

The purpose of the project is to search for new chemotherapeutic and preventive agents for cancer from the study of natural products used in local traditional medicine. The bioactive principles identified will be incorporated into prevention and treatment protocols currently used to address the problem of increased cancer incidence, particularly colorectal cancer.

The biodiscovery case will be directly related to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and SDG 15 (Life on Land) since it promotes fair and equitable participation in the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources”.

Given that the project is being executed by a public institution and will generate a biotechnological innovation that can bring benefits both for the national population and internationally in the treatment of a disease of high global incidence, it can be said that it will promote a fair and equitable participation of the benefits of this innovation process.

Learn more on this biodiscovery case here.

View more on Uruguay and its implementation of the Nagoya Protocol here.

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