The National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) has published a report on Plant-derived Pharmaceuticals, written by Professor Emeritus Michael Fowler and Dr Ian Law. The report was funded jointly by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI).
The report highlights an upswing in global activity with regard to drug discovery in plants, but finds no evidence that the major UK pharmaceutical companies are exploiting these opportunities. While UK SME activity in the sector is healthy, the authors find that UK plant pharmaceutical research resources at both an academic and industry level have been severely depleted over the last 20 years.
The report identifies a need for partnerships between SMEs and large pharmaceutical companies in this process, with help from government and regulatory bodies in providing advice, information and funding where possible.
Opportunities for UK growers of plant material for pharmaceutical applications should arise as a result of increasing activity. A response from Government, the academic community and the UK pharmaceutical industry could lead to hugely profitable drug development and production enterprises in coming years.
The NNFCC is The National Non-Food Crops Centre, the UK’s single independent authority on renewable materials and technology. The priority sectors are:
- Biofuels and Biorefineries
- Plant-derived Pharmaceuticals
- Renewable Polymers
- Speciality and Fine Chemicals
- Crop-derived Construction Materials
National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC)
York Science Park
(Cf. news from 2006-11-02.)
Source: National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC), 2007-01-31.