Consulting On Natural Product Isolation And Development

Plants and microbes continue to reveal biologically active substances that may require further development. Not so long ago, potent immune modulators, such as FK-506 or rapamycin, anti-tumor taxol, antimalarial artemisinin were developed into important pharmaceutical agents. Realizing the health-benefits of edible plants, the dietary supplement industry responded by offering “functional foods”, which are enriched into heathy components. More recently this trend got closer to pharmaceutical products aiming at offering highly standardized natural extracts supported by clinical studies. In every case involving natural products, processing of plant extracts requires experience and skills that we can offer to our clients, enabling them to solve their problems faster and more efficinent.

Many fruits, cocoa, or spices contain plant metabolites known as procyanidins, or as condensed tannins. The procyanidins consist of chains of epicatechin and catechin and always occur as a complex family, containing chains or different length and connectivity. These substances are antioxidants and appear to suppress undesired effects of oxidative stress. Upon digestion they produce multiple health benefits, prominently including cardiovascular protection and amelioration of chronic degenerative diseases also associated with aging. Procyanidins of some sources are believed to act more specifically, e.g. those from cinnamon have anti-diabetic property, from cranberry fight and prevent urinary tract infection. The pharmacology of procyanidins is progressing slowly due to the necessity of dealing with very complex natural mixtures. Because we strongly believe that procyanidins have unrealized potential to improve human health, we have been developing expertise in this area. After a several years of experimentation we developed novel and effective modes for the isolation of individual procyanidins (e.g. pending patent for the separation based on application of Centrifugal Partition Chromatography). Currently we produce and offer to sell over 20 individual procyanidins of both B-type (cocoa, apples) and A-type (cinnamon, peanut skin, cranberries). In cooperation with other groups of scientists we work on establishing molecular structures and specific pharmacological properties. In this capacity we co-authored four papers on analytical quantification of procyanidins and several on determination of molecular structures.

Periodically, we are also involved with our clients in development of pharmaceutical agents. In the majority of these projects, legal agreements prevent us from disclosing sensitive information. In some cases, after assuring patent rights, the discovery is published in a form of a scientific paper. Thus, in both areas: nutritional and pharmaceutical we have substantial expertise to help potential clients in thir endeavors. Whether there is discovered a natural substance envisioned as a potential pharmaceutical agent or at stake is enrichment of a certain class of natural substances

Service Highlights

  • Isolation of pure fractions from source
  • Determination of active components
  • Biological assays to determine pathways of activity
  • Cost effective strategy for identifying active components
  • Structural elucidation via:
    • NMR
    • Mass Spectroscopy
    • UV-VIS
  • Determine best approach to bring product to market
  • Test viability of drug to market
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