Chapter 4Computational Toxicology for Traditional Chinese Medicine

Ni Ai and Xiaohui Fan

Pharmaceutical Informatics Institute, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, PR China

4.1 Background, Current Status, and Challenges

In the year 2015, Dr Youyou Tu won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of artemisinin that has saved millions lives of those suffering malaria around the world. Despite numerous debates on the relationship between artemisinin and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there is no doubt that inspiration from an ancient TCM medical book documenting the application of Artemisia annua L., the original herb of artemisinin, for the treatment of malaria plays a critical role in the identification of this blockbuster drug. This new triumph reawakened global interest in TCM again, as a valuable resource for novel structural scaffold identification and complementary and alternative pharmacotherapy for various common and rare human illnesses. The recent 2015 statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China report that the combined sales of TCM patent prescriptions and prepared decoctions have approached approximately one-third (29.26%, more than US$ 111 billion) of the annual revenue ...

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