Research innovation at UP acknowledged in competitions

Posted on December 01, 2014

In the recent Accelerator Programme Innovation Competition, UP academics Dr Candice van Wyk, Dr Francien Botha and Prof Kobus Eloff were awarded top honours and received the sum of R300 000 for their innovative product called Candida-free Natural. They also came second in the GAP Biosciences category. 

The candida invention is based on a process used to extract an antifungal agent from plant material, in this case the acetone leaf extract of Ptaeroxylon obliquum (sneezewood), which acts against Candida albicans, a fungus that causes many health problems, especially among immune-compromised patients. The invention is described as a ’safe antifungal compound from sneezewood’.

This innovative product also came second and won the inventors an amount of R50 000 at the recent Fourth Annual SAB Foundation Social Innovations Awards ceremony. The money will be used to continue with the development of Obliquumol, which has been isolated from the active P. obliquum leaf extract. Obliquumol has better antifungal activity against C. albicans and offers safer treatment for fungal infections than the standard treatment with Amphotericin B. Especially patients suffering from extensive candidiasis will benefit from this invention.

- Author DUR

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