PROJECT DETAIL: Lovastatin
Following are the details of the project:
The project, “Development and Production of Lovastatin for the Pharmaceutical Industry” is a Research and Development project being carried out by Raw Materials Research & Development Council in collaboration with the International Center for Ethno-medicine and Drug Development.
Lovastatin is a naturally occurring drug found in food such as oyster mushroom and red yeast rice. It is the active ingredient in Oyster mushroom (Pleutorus ostreatus).This mushroom grows well in Nigeria. The oyster mushroom contains about 2.8% lovastatin. The amount depends on fruiting size, age and substrate composition. Lovastatin is a member of the drug class of statins.
Lovastatin is a white non-hygroscopic crystalline powder that is soluble in water and sparingly soluble in ethanol, methanol and acetonitrile. It is a secondary raw material and is the active component, compounded with other drug carriers and nutritional elements for the formulation of some statin drugs. Statin drugs are a popular way for people to lower their risks of heart attack and stroke. The drugs work to hinder the production of an enzyme in the liver that makes cholesterol in the body. They are sold under different names and come in varying doses.
Comparatively, there are very few oyster mushroom cultivators in Nigeria. The technology of mushroom cultivation has not been widely publicized. Moreover, awareness created by the relevant government agencies such as the Raw Materials research and Development Council has been mainly on the cultivation of mushroom for culinary purposes, job and wealth creation.