Current Issues - Newsletter

May 1998



  Bioperine®: New U.S. Patent
  Sabinsa Corporation was assigned a second patent on its trademarked standardized black pepper extract, Bioperine(R), by the U.S. Patents and Trademarks office.

The first patent on the use of Bioperine® as an enhancer of nutrient bioavailability, (U.S. Patent 5,536,506) was issued in 1996. Patent 5,744,161 dated April 28, 1998, covers the use of piperine as a bioavailability enhancer for a broader range of nutritional supplements.

The salient features of the oral, topical and parenteral compositions with piperine described in the patent, include increased gastrointestinal absorption and improved transfer of nutrients / biological compounds through various biological membrane barriers in the body, as well as enhanced systemic utilization of these compounds. The patent also describes a new process for the extraction and purification of piperine.


lnula racemosa Potentiates Insulin Sensitivity

Lack of cellular sensitivity to insulin seriously impairs therapeutic approaches to diabetes management. Inula racemosa, used traditionally as a cardiotonic may sensitize cells to insulin as surmised from studies on animal models. Inula racemosa is therefore a potential herbal alternative for the management of insulin resistant diabetes.


  1. Ind. J. Exp. Biol. (1995), 33(9):686-689.

Nancy Mc Mohon, Executive Assistant to Dr. Majeed


Nancy is involved in most of the projects at the Corporate Office and ensures its smooth day to day functioning. Nancy joined the Sabinsa team in 1996, bringing with her over 30 years of versatile experience in various corporate settings. Having assisted top management personnel for most of her career, her office skills and 'people potential' are great assets to Sabinsa Corporation. Over the years, Nancy kept up with the technological advancements in the modern office through business training programs. Currently, she also heads the Human Resources Department at Sabinsa Corporation.

  Boswellin®: Antileukotrienes approach to Bronchial Asthma  
Recent studies show that asthma, even in its mildest form, is an inflammatory disease mediated by leukotrienes. The use of treatments with antileukotrienes for this condition is therefore being emphasized. Antileukotrienes have been used with success in clinical trials in the management of various models of asthma1.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved a "once-a-day asthma pill", Singulair (montelukast sodium) for the prevention and treatment of chronic asthma. This drug works by blocking leukotrienes which are involved . in the inflammatory processes associated with asthma2. In the phytonutritional approach, boswellic acids (from the gum resin of Boswellia serrata) are the most promising antileukotrienes.

Boswellic acids were proven in in vitro studies, to be the most potent amongst several herbal extracts in inhibiting the classical component pathway of the inflammatory response, producing 100% inhibition at a concentration of 0.1 micromole3. Boswellic acids appear to be specific inhibitors of leukotriene formation, functioning by inhibiting the activity of the enzymes which lead to their formation. Boswellic acids are therefore effective in the prevention and/or control of inflammatory processes, which are typically characterized by increased leukotriene formation4. In addition to this mechanism, boswellic acids were found to decrease the activity of human leukocyte elastase (HLE). Both leukotriene formation and HLE release are increased during the progression of hypersensitivity-based diseases, such as asthma. This dual inhibitory action was found to be unique to boswellic acids. The reported blockade of two proinflammatory enzymes by boswellic acids could be the rationale for their anti-allergic and anti-asthmatic activity5.

Sabinsa Corporation supplies an extract of Boswellia serrata, Boswellin®, standardized for 65% boswellic acids. Intensive research is underway at Sabinsa to develop a once-a-day anti-asthma formulation based on the leukotrienes inhibitory activity of boswellic acids.


  1. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1997, 127: 472-480.

  2. Retail Pharmacy News, April 1998.

  3. Planta Medica, 1989. 55: 235-242.

  4. Planta Medica, 1991. 57(3): 203-207.

  5. J. Pharm. Exp. Ther, 1997. 281(1): 460-463.
  Dr. Zahir Shah Akhunzada Visits South Asia  
Dr. Zahir Shah Akhunzada, a research scientist at Sabinsa R &D, Princeton NJ, recently visited South Asia. Dr. Akhunzada found his visit to Sabinsa's associate company in India, SAMI Labs Ltd., Bangalore, particularly useful, as he is actively involved in developing Quality Control procedures and validating test methods for Sabinsa's wide range of nutritional products.

While at Sami, Dr. Akhunzada had the opportunity to work with our team of specialized scientists at the state-of-the-art Quality Control and Quality Assurance Laboratory at Kunigal near Bangalore. Dr. Akhunzada also personally inspected sourced raw materials at selected locations in South Asia, for adherance to Sabinsa 's stringent quality standards.

Dr. Akhunzada validates an assay method on the HPLC, at the QC facility
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