Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), rooted in a rich history of herbal remedies, is undergoing a modern transformation at the Center of Chinese Herbal Medicine Drug Development Limited (CHM) in Hong Kong. Dr. LIN Chengyuan, the associate director of administration at CHM, leads a pioneering effort to rejuvenate ancient medicines for contemporary ailments, particularly focusing on chronic gut diseases such as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
“We are currently pursuing three track development pipelines, all focused on addressing gastrointestinal diseases,” Dr. Chengyuan told Interesting Engineering (IE).
CHM is pursuing three development tracks to address gastrointestinal diseases. The first track targets an alternative application for chronic constipation in the United States and has already been submitted for FDA approval.
“The first track targets an alternative application for treating chronic constipation and associated distress in the United States. We submitted the application [for] US Food and Drug Administration FDA approval earlier this year,” and it has been well received.
The second involves 71 TPP, a traditional Chinese medicine for the same ailment, and the third, 105205, is a customized formulation designed for constipation-predominant IBS. The goal is to submit new drug applications to both China and the US, bringing TCM-based treatments to the forefront of modern medicine, potentially in tablet form.
In addition to utilizing TCM, CHM employs artificial intelligence (AI) to expedite the drug discovery process. The AI-driven approach allows the scientific team to design and test new molecules, streamlining the search for effective combinations. This integration of ancient herbal knowledge with cutting-edge technology holds promise for revolutionizing the treatment of chronic gut disorders.
“We ask our AI group [scientific team] to make new molecules,” Dr. Chengyuan stated.
“The designers design theory of the single compound structures after [synthesizing] these compounds [and] compare the effects of animal and [other models]. We finally find the best.”
The application of TCM and AI has broad implications, offering new hope to millions suffering from chronic gut conditions. Dr. Chengyuan envisions a future where individuals can access TCM-based medicines at local Chinese medical stores to treat disorders like IBS and colitis. This shift could significantly impact the management of chronic gastrointestinal disorders, with the potential to enhance patients’ quality of life.
“You could soon be going to your local Chinese medical store to treat IBS, colitis, and other chronic gut diseases,” stated the doctor.
“When we do sampling, we find a herb is better at treating diseases.”
Notably, the research aligns with the estimates from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, highlighting the prevalence of IBS and Crohn’s disease in the United States. The prospect of practical and affordable TCM-based therapies signals a potentially radical change in the landscape of chronic gastrointestinal disorder management, offering patients a promising avenue for relief and improved well-being.