Advances in Biopharmaceutical Technology in India
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Chapter 16:   Understanding Ayurveda Medicine

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system. The word Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words - ‘ayuh’ (life) and ‘veda’ (knowledge) – i.e. knowledge of life. Ayurveda has its genesis in Atharva Veda, one of the four Vedas (the books of knowledge). Ayurvedic medicine is known to be a holistic medicine that considers the soul while treating the body and mind. Modern biotechnology can be defined as the application of recently developed skills in microbial and biochemical technology to applied biology. First generation biotechnology is based on traditional knowledge of preparing fermented foods, medicinal distillates. Preparation of Asava, Arishtas in Ayurveda are good examples of the use of first generation biotechnology. India has been practicing conventional or traditional biotechnology for a very long time and there are many issues pertaining to unprotectable intellectual properties. Our culture has encouraged the development of knowledge a public property without discrimination or limitation. Currently biotechnology has been used: a) in the standardization of herbal drugs. b) to classify medicinally active constituents of drugs; c) for isolation, purification, identification , analysis, structure illudication of plant constituents. However, in India the structured biotechnology sector is still in its infant stage. India is making a considerable investment in academics and infrastructure to accelerate the sector’s growth and contributions. Indian plant and human sub-racial diversity also hold vital clues to diseases mechanisms and cures. Combined with our knowledge of Ayurveda, Indian Biotech stands to make very significant offerings to Global biotech in the long term, both in the form of IPR and drugs.

About the Author:

Dr. Sampada Amol Mahajan
Clinical Research Associate
Chiltern International Private Limited
Mumbai India

Dr. Sampada Amol Mahajan is a graduate in Medical Science, University of Mumbai, in the field of Ayurveda. She practiced Ayurveda Medicine for 5 years before entering into the pharmaceutical industry and completed certified courses in Panchakarma & Yoga. She worked with Concept Pharmaceuticals Ltd., for their Medical Information Department as a Scientific Officer and prepared the rationale for new drugs to be launched for FDA approval. Presently she is working with Chiltern International Private Ltd. as Clinical Research Associate. She is a member of the Association of Ayurvedic Practitioners, Borivali and Borivali Medical Brotherhood.

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Eric Langer
BioPlan Associates, Inc.
2275 Research Blvd, Suite 500
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Phone: 301-921-5979; Fax: 301-926-2455