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Research Domain: Materia Medica
Keyword: Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM)
Research Production: SIMM ranks at the top in China for its drug discovery and development activities. More than 70 drugs have been developed since its establishment. Of these, 10 were listed in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. For instance, periaqueductal gray matter has been demonstrated to be the most effective site in the whole nervous system for the abolition of pain by micro-injection of morphine. This finding was recognized internationally as a milestone in opioid research. Artemether, a novel anti-malarial drug included in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, has been exported to many countries to treat severe malaria. Sodium dimercaptosuccinate, an antidote against heavy metal poisonings, was copied by a major U.S. pharmaceutical company and approved by the FDA to treat lead poisoning. Sobuzoxan, an anti-tumor drug designed and synthesized by SIMM, jointly developed by SIMM and a Japanese pharmaceutical company, was approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health in 1994. Huperzine A (HupA), a novel alkaloid isolated from the Chinese medicinal herb, Huperzia serrata , was found to be a potent, reversible and selective inhibitor of AChE. Clinical trials have shown that HupA could significantly improve memory deficiencies in aged population and patients with Alzheimer's disease. Depsides salt injection, a modern Chinese herbal drug against coronary heart disease angina pectoris, received the certification of a new drug and permission for production from the Chinese SFDA in May 2005. The drug has the authorization of domestic and US patents. The invention of this drug is an important achievement of TCM modernization in the past few years.

Supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, CAS and Shanghai Municipality , a number of drug candidates are currently under pre-clinical evaluations.  
Remarks: Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM),Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) evolved from the Institute of Materia Medica of Peking Academy of Sciences founded in 1932. Its current location is within the heart of Zhang Jiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong New District.

SIMM's mission is to provide a comprehensive solution in drug discovery and development. By combining basic and applied research efforts and through cross-fostering between chemistry and biology, scientists at SIMM carry out studies toward the elucidation of the structural basis of bioactive substances, discovery of new targets or mechanisms of action, comprehensive pre-clinical evaluation of drug candidates, and promotion of commercialization, thereby playing an indispensable role in building China's drug innovation capabilities.

SIMM consists of the following functional divisions: Department of Natural Products Chemistry, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Departments of Pharmacology I, II and III , State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, the National Center for Drug Screening, Drug Discovery and Design Center, Center for Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics Research, Center for Drug Safety Evaluation and Research, Center for Pharmaceutics Research and Research Center for Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The supporting and logistic units include a library, a vivarium and a herbarium. Two English journals, namely, Acta Pharmacologica Sinica and Asian Journal of Andrology, and one Chinese journal Family Medicines are published by SIMM.

Through several generations of effort, SIMM has become one of the leading interdisciplinary research centers in China . It is recognized worldwide by its outstanding achievements in both basic and applied research fields.

Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica , Chinese Academy of Sciences
Address: 555 Zu Chong Zhi Road , Zhang Jiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong, Shanghai
Postcode: 201203
Telephone number: 86-21-5080-6600
Fax number: 86-21-5080-7088
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