UD’HAR (FRARIE VII) – Gridharan Medical Research announced today that its scientists have successfully synthesized the medicinal compounds found naturally in the rare jintaalan blossom. Company officials say the breakthrough opens the doors on a whole new era of pharmaceutical development. “This is a great day in scientific achievement,” said Dr. Yarri Arasaratnam, director of Gridharan Medical Research’s newly reconstructed facility. “Our researchers continue to push the very cutting of knowledge.”
The jintaalan is a cactus-like plant that is indigenous to Frarie VI, home of the Rohaanar Colony. A tea made from the plant’s dried blossoms is commonly used by Rohaani as a treatment for everything from fevers to rheumatism.
Those who have consumed the tea say it produces a slight feeling of euphoria and increased acuity of the senses. However, a few people have reported suffering symptoms similar to a panic attack after drinking the tea.
The fruit of the jintaalan is toxic, causing hallucinations and severe stomach cramping in those who eat it. Reports of deaths due to plant are rare, but do occur as the fruit is sometimes used by extreme Rohaani cultists to induce trance-like “vision quests”. Officially, consumption of the fruit is illegal, but possession is not.
Research into the actual medicinal value of the jintaalan has been limited because Rohaani law expressly forbids the removal of any part of the plants from the colony. Further, attempts to cultivate the planet from smuggled seeds failed as the plant could not survive outside its native environment.
Arasaratnam declined to comment specifically on how GMR obtained samples of the blossom.
“Answering that question would jeopardize some of our propriety research techniques,” he said. “But I can assure you that no laws were violated.”
A spokesperson for Idama Jeevan Nirantar, leader of Rohaanar Colony, said that he was pleased that an artificial derivative of the jintaalan had been developed.
“For years we have known of the healing power of this miracle plant, but it grows in too small a quantity for export,” he said. “If this new compound is true to the natural one, then all people everywhere will benefit.”
Arasaratnam said with the compound now synthesized, GMR will move forward with laboratory testing before going on to clinical trials. He said he was unable to provide a timeline, but expected the first new medicines in the next 12 to 18 months. This timeline is slightly slower than GMR is known for.
“We’re as anxious as anyone to get these medicines to the people, but following the unfortunate events of last year, we are rededicating ourselves to the safety of our employees and neighbors,” Arasaratnam said.
GMR suffered a major setback in October of YC112 when a research facility near the city of Shikar was completely destroyed in a massive explosion attributed to a chlorine gas leak. A total of 350 people were killed in the blast, prompting an investigation by both planetary and Intaki Assembly officials.
The company was eventually cleared of any criminal negligence, but did settle with families of the victims for an undisclosed amount of money.