Prof. Li Shao’s research on traditional Chinese medicine granted US Patent

A research result named “Method of Network-Based Identification of Multicomponent Synergy and Compositions for Use as Effective Component of Anti-Angiogenesis Medicines”, by the research group of DA's Professor Li Shao, has been granted United States invention patent. The patent application was sent out on May 7, 2009, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sent the authorization notice on October 4, 2011.

How to find the effective ingredient combinations from mass ingredients of Chinese herbal medicines and to interpret the combination principle is a key issue in the modern study of Chinese herbal formula. Finding drug combinations with synergistic activities is also a key point of the current disease treatment. Unlike the "trial and error" method based on a large number of tests, this results brings up a new method to “predict” drug synergism using a bimolecular network, which has the merits of a larger search space, higher speed, lower cost, and relative more accurate result. The method maps the disease, the drug-related genes or gene products to a network of biological molecules, and does quantitative analysis of the coordinated intervention intensity of drug combinations on the disease, then screens for synergistic drug combinations, and finds a variety of anti-angiogenesis drug combinations from Chinese herbal formulas. The Chinese invention patent application on this research has been authorized this year, and the related paper was also recommended by the international "thousands of physicians" as the must-read paper for network pharmacology.

The concept of "network pharmacology” was proposed in 2007. It is considered as the next generation mode of drug research. Combining the emerging network pharmacology and traditional Chinese herbal formula is an important research direction of Professor Li Shao’s group. The recent application of patent from this group included the network-based drug targets and the confirmation method of drug functions.