Allapinin antiarrhythmic drug continues to conquer the world. It is already widely represented not only in the local pharmacies, but also in Russia and Belarus. Negotiations on deliveries to India and China are being conducted.
One of the discoverers of drug base of this medicine, MD, winner of the State Prize of I degree of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of science and technology, chief researcher of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Institute of Plant Chemistry, Farhad Nabievich Jahongirov continues to work on the creation of new and improved anti-arrhythmic drugs, despite his age. These drugs very soon will appear in our pharmacies.
What does a man feel who gave the people an effective and now a popular drug?
- What can he feel? He feels nothing. It helps people - that's great. There are certainly people who do something once in a lifetime, and then go on every corner and boast: “I did something! That is so cool!" I am not one of them. I just keep working. At the time, under the guidance of my teacher Fahriddin Sadriddinov, I was lucky enough to discover the antiarrhythmic properties of a number of substances of plant origin. Based on this discovery other antiarrhythmic drugs can be created as well, including those which are more effective than the Allapinin. We are working on that. Recently, we have completed clinical trials and received approval for use in healthcare of Aksaritmin. This is a wonderful drug, that helps when Allapinin is powerless. Aksaritmin has a milder drug action, and its cost will be cheaper, which is also important.
- It is true, that a person should be engaged in science from their childhood in order to become a pioneer and inventor of the subject of their research?
- I think, not completely. I was fond of physics at school. I studied in Yangiyul. We had a talented physicist. Besides scheduled lessons, we had a lot additional tutorials. We red many youth popular science magazines, such as ‘Knowledge is power’, ‘Technology of Youth’ and many others. We were just obsessed with such concepts as artificial intelligence and artificial organs. Even after graduating from school, I tried to enter the Moscow Energy Institute, but parents dissuaded me.
-How do discoveries happen? Tell about your experience.
- After listening to the parents’ opinion, I entered the Tashkent Medical Institute, which I graduated. As a student, I was interested in pharmacology. It is a very interesting subject, since it is about the effects of drugs. It was interesting for research in this direction. Almost immediately after graduation, I joined the Institute of Plant Chemistry, where worked on the development of drugs to treat diseases of the central nervous system. I was an active participant in various research conferences and was engaged in the preparation of the master's thesis. The subject of my research was zongorin and diatsetilzongorin. In the course of research, I came across that there substances with antiarrhythmic action in group of very similar to each other substances that had been recognized by science as poisons. . These are my findings were subjected to serious criticism. However, subsequent experiments proved that I was right. As a result, I was sent to Kiev to a famous scholar Platon Kostyuk for more serious research on the molecular level. They showed me right. Later studies were quickly picked up in Moscow, and personally supervised by Yevgeniy Chazov. Then there was the collapse of the Soviet state, but research continued. One group was engaged in our discovery in Moscow, and we were engaged here.
- Did not it hurt when colleagues had questioned your findings?
- It is normal practice. Without this, there is no discovery. When there is something new, it is always unclear, causing sea of doubt, criticism, condemnation, and then everything falls into place.
- You did not stop at Allapinin and continued to create new and better medicines. How are they obtained?
- Even after our allapinin was introduced in practical health care, we continue to work closely with physicians. They share with us their opinions and express their wishes. We consider in the lab what can be done, finalize a drug using the most modern scientific approaches and obtain new and more effective drugs. Now we intend to launch two more drugs.
You know, to introduce a drug in the pharmaceutical market is more difficult than to create it. The market is very saturated and pharmaceutical producers reluctantly pass new comers. We must constantly prove that a new drug is better than other drugs and works where others do not work.
In between times, I developed dietary supplements and tools for perfumery and cosmetics industry, shampoo, nourishing creams based on natural herbals, bioreactors for laboratories and even pesticides with defoliants for agrarians.
-Do you remember how you received the National Award?
- The first time, we attempted to present our development to the state award, was in the Soviet times. That time was during the collapse, so we did not have time. However, our work was also highly appreciated in the years of independence. In 2007, together with a group of collaborators we received the State Prize of the Republic of Uzbekistan of I Degree in the field of science and technology for the "design, development and introduction into medical practice of allapinin preparation and organization of mass production."
- Whom and what do you remember most?
- Probably, friends, which passed away. Life is short. Scientific discoveries, the path to it.
- You are 71 years old. Do not want to retire?
- I am full of energy and still want to work. Moreover, every day brings something new, something interesting. This stimulates. Now we release the building. There will be capital repair. It will be conducted in accordance with the GMP standards. The new equipment is being purchased. It is necessary to develop international cooperation. Indian and Chinese companies want to cooperate with us. As a result, based on the institute, the production of substances and completed original products, developed by our scientists, will be set up. There will be not only anti-arrhythmic, but also drugs against hepatitis C, and something like Viagra, but with fewer side effects. I cannot name them so far.
On the other hand, before leaving I would like to convey to someone and ask him or her not to repeat in the studies, but move on. I have material for dozens of publications. Take, correct and submit for publication. However, today, many editions require payment before publishing. The amount of money they ask is not small. The importance of publication goes by the wayside. It discourages any desire. Moreover, I do not need to be published already. I am well known scientist. Although, I am currently being published in co-authorship. Now we are working on one article together with colleagues from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the work.
Patents are also a headache. The patent should work and bring money to the author. This is an indicator of demand for its development. Nowadays, patents are created just to protect a PhD thesis.
It is a pity that the youth is not involved very actively in science, looking for quick money. In science, before to get something, you need to work for many years at low wages. We were once the other, worked day and night at several jobs. In particular, I combined scientific activity with practical medicine - worked in the center of the terminal states, where we saved lives of people. The job was difficult. It was necessary to support a family, to raise children.
-Do your children or grandchildren continue your work?
- I have two sons: the eldest died and the youngest is in business. The grandchildren of the older study at Westminster University in Tashkent and University of World Languages. They definitely will not be involved in pharmaceutical science. A granddaughter from the youngest son learns Korean language in college; other one studies at school and another, three years old, watches cartoons. I hope for the younger ones. I would like to at least one of them went on my business. After all, there are many books at my home. I would like to help someone by wise advice…
(Material prepared in the framework of the social order of the Public Fund for Support of NGOs and other civil society institutions under Oliy Majlis the Republic of Uzbekistan)