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Drugs from the sea: New discoveries in marine biomedicine

Substances produced by living organisms found in natureso-called "natural products"have played a critical role in the development of drugs for life-threatening conditions. The anticancer agent Taxol was sourced from a plant, penicillin from a fungus, and a number of recent breakthroughs have resulted in the development and approval of anticancer drugs derived from marine sources such as coral and sponges.

To raise awareness about the vast potential of marine- and natural product-based biotechnology in the discovery and development of new drugs, the New York Academy of Sciences and the marine-based drug development company Zeltia S.A. are hosting a symposium, "New Frontiers in Marine Drug Discovery" at the New York Academy of Sciences Conference Center on May 20, 2011. This symposium will address the newly discovered and tremendous potential that the biodiversity of the marine ecosystem offers as a source for new therapeutically useful compounds, from the early stage drug discovery perspective of academia and the clinical therapy development perspective of industry.

The event will showcase recent technological improvements in natural product chemistry; review the landscape of marine-derived compoundsboth approved drugs and those in the development and trial stages; and explore examples of pioneering efforts, failures and successes in the translation of small molecules of natural marine origin into first-in-class and life-changing therapies for metastatic ovarian and metastatic breast cancer, among other diseases.

WHAT: A Scientific Symposium: New Frontiers in Marine Drug Discovery


  • William Fenical, PhD, Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Shirley Pomponi, PhD, President and CEO, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
  • Juli M. Trtanj, Director, Oceans and Human Health Initiative, NOAA National Ocean Service
  • Roberto Weinmann, PhD, COO PharmaMar USA, a company of the Zeltia Group

WHEN: Friday May 20, 2011 | 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM

The New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St., 40th floor, New York, NY


Contact: Marta Murcia
New York Academy of Sciences

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