TRIBALS and patent rights activists have
something to cheer for. In the first
instance of its kind, the Kani tribe
dwelling in the Agastyar hills in
southern Kerala, will get the rights over
an anti-stress drug developed by the
Tropical Botanic Garden and Research
Institute (TBGRI). The tribe had helped
locate the plant from which the drug
Under the rights, 50 per cent of the licence fee and two per cent of the royalty would go to the tribe. According to TBGki director, P Pushpangadan, the drug 'Jeevani' (Trichopus zey1nicus) had restorative, immuno-enhancing, anti-stress properties. The tribe's habit of consuming the leaves of the tiny plant which is known among them as Arogyapacha (health drug), was discovered by the scientists who developed the drug after@ two years of trial.
For starters, 50 tribal families will be growing the plant for commercial use. The TBGRi has transferred the know-how of the drug to Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Coimbatore, which will purchase the raw material from the tribe, develop the drug and market it.
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