The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Philippine Council for Health Research & Development (PCHRD) has a Tuklas Lunas Development Program that seeks to support drug discovery efforts by providing technical and financial assistance to project proposals in this field. Last March 17, 2015 the DOST-PCHRD recognized the University of Santo Tomas as one of the country’s Tuklas Lunas Development Center due to its merits in fields of Natural Products Chemistry and Drug Discovery Research.
The center focuses on the synthesis, derivatization and advanced drug discovery of traditional and non-traditional sources of potential natural therapeutics, including endemic/indigenous terrestrial plants, mangroves, fungi, myxomycetes, lichens and amphibians. The identified “Hits” from the said sources will be synthesized or modified to establish unambiguously their structure and confirm their bioactivity utilizing disease-targeted biological assays. The center will conduct structure-activity relationship (SAR) evaluation to enhance observed bioactivity/ies. Studies on pre-formulation and formulation and drug delivery will be performed on the natural therapeutics. Likewise, the center will attempt “hits” to “lead” identification and optimisation when necessary.