Current status of natural product screening programs in Japan

Toru Okuda

Programme and Abstracts of Ninth International Congress for Culture Collections, Brisbane, Australia.  23-38 July, 2000. 61p.

The expectation toward fungal metabolites was tremendous since blockbuster drugs such as mevalotin and cyclosporine were launched more than a decade ago.  During these years, meanwhile, technologies for drug discovery process have been highly advanced and diversified.  Pharmaceutical industries are keeping up with heavy competition with high-throughput screening (HTS), combinatorial chemistry and genomics.  The better-faster-cheaper strategy tends to drive out the natural products screening (NPS) programs, which take time and cost much.  Recently, we took a survey of the NPS activities by sending questionnaires to various organizations mainly in Japan.  Seventy-three percent of them are conducting NPS.  However, they are facing difficulties including pure technological problems to cope with HTS and more political issues such as Conventions on Biological Diversity.  I will discuss trends and future in the NPS programs.  I will also touch on the possible roles of culture collections in the future based on our expectations towards Japanfs biological resource center.

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Last update on 2001/07/19
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