Betting on Natural Products for Cures

Author(s): Maureen RA


NATURAL PRODUCTS ARE STILL delivering candidates to development pipelines over a wide range of therapeutic areas. For this reason, some big and small companies continue to bet on natural products as a source of cures and life-improving drugs. Not all of the big pharmaceutical companies jettisoned their natural products programs in the 1990s. And among many smaller companies, natural products are the primary, if not the sole, source of leads for drug candidates.

Bayer, Merck, and\vyeth are major drug companies that have remained committed to natural products drug discovery

"Natural products have been and will be important sources of new pharmaceutical compounds," says Matthias Gehling, Bayer's head of natural products research. His group provides natural products for screening over all therapeutic areas of interest to Bayer. To make natural products competitive, the group has reduced processing time of crude extracts through pretreatment, automated separation, and computer- assisted structural elucidation. "By optimizing the technology platform around ...

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