Hyderabad: Senior scientist Dr Sunil Kumar Verma from Hyderabad has challenged the basis of giving the Nobel prize in medicine this year to Chinese scientist Youyou Tu for the discovery of Artemisinin, an active compound extracted from a medicinal plant called Artemisia Annua that is used for curing malaria.
Dr Verma holds a PhD from the Oxford University and was formerly a Commonwealth Scholar. He is principal scientist at the CCMB in Hyderabad. Dr Verma said in his Facebook post that Artemisinin was a variant of Artemisin, which has been mentioned in books published nearly 100 years ago and was also used in India against malaria.
He cited a book titled Indian Medicinal Plants published in 1918 by Lieutenant-Colonel K.R. Kirtikar and Major B.D. Basu, which cites the use of Artemisin to cure “intermittent and remittent”, which is how malaria was known then, due to its symptoms, in 1880.