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Therapeutic Uses of Top Natural Products 300

250 200 150 100 50 0


Angelica sinensis Peony Sage

Ligusticum chuanxiong

CAS covers 61 patent authorities, including many Asian patent authorities, both large (India, Japan and China) and small (Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan). Patents from smaller authorities can be the source of unique inventions. Tis information is also largely inaccessible because few information providers cover smaller patent authorities. CAS’s extensive coverage of patent authorities worldwide ensures that researchers are less likely to miss this unique information.

Intellectually added indexing

CAS scientists, who are experts in the subject matter of the original patent documents, index traditional medicine patent information in the CAS databases to facilitate retrieval.

Botanicals used in traditional medicines are yielding successful drugs. In 2002, 1,141 different traditional plant drugs were registered for their therapeutic activities, including several new single compounds from plants such as arteannuin, an antimalarial extracted from sweet wormwood qinghao (Artemisia annua). Te use of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) to treat liver ailments can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. More recently, its active compound, silybin, has been studied in clinical trials as an antitumor agent. In one randomised clinical trial involving children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, silybin was found to decrease the harmful effects of chemotherapy on the liver without

diminishing treatment.

Taxol (paclitaxel), a well-known chemotherapy drug, was discovered as part of a US Department of Agriculture programme to find natural chemicals that might be used as drugs. Found in

the bark of the rare Pacific yew (Taxus

brevifolia) tree, taxol was in such a high demand that its production threatened that species’ existence. Fortunately,

scientists were able to

derive the active compound from the abundant European yew using semisynthetic production, which sustained paclitaxel’s availability for chemotherapy, as well as the Pacific yew’s existence.

the effects of cancer

Natural compounds have been part of the patenting tradition since the 1990s, steadily contributing to a significant body of work.

Traditional medicine content in CAS’s literature database

Traditional medicine patents and other relevant published literature constitute a unique form of prior art for intellectual property professionals in the life sciences sector. But until recently, traditional medicine information has been largely inaccessible for a number of reasons, such as a lack of available English-language translations.

Patent coverage

CAS databases use a variety of reputable scientific sources. Since 2001, more than 50,000 traditional medicine patents have been added to the CAS literature database. It may come as no surprise that Asia is the regional leader in these patents, with more than 90 percent reported. Among these, China represents 60 percent, Japan 20 percent and South Korea 10 percent. Te remaining 10 percent comes from several countries, including the United States, France and Canada.

Silybin: CAS RN 22888-70-6

CAS casts a wide net to include 2,100 Asian serial journals and many Asian patent authorities, ensuring an excellent coverage of Asia. Chinese patent coverage in the CAS literature database includes multiple publication types and family information, and provides English translations of many ‘obscure’ Asian-language patent and journal articles. Many information providers do not cover these hard-to-find Asian patents because they are most oſten published in national publications for which no English-language equivalents exist. However, the multilingual expertise of CAS scientists enables the CAS databases to offer English-language abstracts of traditional medicine information from these patents.

44 Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review 2011

To make searches more productive, intellectually assigned indexing applies consistent, controlled terminology from the CA Lexicon, which is an online thesaurus of controlled terminology. Te thesaurus is part of STN®, the CAS search tool predominantly used by intellectual property experts and other information professionals. Te Lexicon includes taxonomic terms, disease terms and substance class terms, as well as specific substance names. Tis coverage reinforces the links already established between the patent literature and published substance information, through the unique CAS Registry Numbers® anchored in records in the CAS substances database.

Controlled terminology in the CA Lexicon enhances prior art searching by helping researchers to find the novel content reported in the original document. Tey can use the terminology to identify new and useful subject and substance keywords, acquire synonymous terms to enhance search retrieval, and refine searches with precise, controlled terms. Te majority of traditional medicine patents, for example, are indexed as Natural products, pharmaceutical/CT (controlled term). Searching by this terminology in the CA Lexicon also identifies Used For (UF) terms, which reveal additional general terminology, such as Ayurvedic drugs/CT, Chinese herbal medicine/ CT and Oriental drugs/CT. Similarly, related Narrower Terms (NT) point to other hierarchies of interest. Te NT Medicinal plants/CT yields a list of medicinal plants that also can be used to refine or expand a search.

In addition to applying controlled terminology, indexing pinpoints select equivalent family members that may be of interest. Finally, working hand-in-hand with indexing is the curation activity that CAS scientists perform by adjusting numbers, names and chemical structures that may have been incorrect in the original document. Tis effort ensures that the easy-to- find patent content is also technically accurate.

Neoplasm Hypertension

Anti-inflammatories Antibacterials


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