Planta Med 2008; 74 - SL38
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1083918

Advanced Analytical Technology as Applied to Natural Products for Drug Discovery: Segment Deux

M O'Neil-Johnson 1, E Garo 1, JF Hu 1, C Starks 1, M Goering 1, P Raven 2, G Eldridge 1
  • 1Sequoia Sciences, Inc., 1912 Innerbelt Business Center Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63114
  • 2Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., Saint Louis, MO 63110

Natural product chemistry has traditionally been a long and time-consuming process for drug discovery research. From extraction, isolation and purification to structure elucidation of biologically active compounds, Sequoia Sciences has created a patented extraction and isolation method to create purified natural product fractions that fit into HTS screening platforms. Utilizing the CapNMR probe and ACD database and structure elucidation software, Sequoia has pioneered structure elucidation on mass limited or microgram quantities of purified natural product compounds and published several papers on its process.

Sequoia has accelerated the discovery of active and novel compounds from plant sources. Sequoia's process has also allowed it to produce a more focused screening library based on selective plant species that may be either underrepresented due to insufficient material or that may produce unique compounds necessary for their survival. In this regard, our strategy has allowed us to analyze several species of Orchids and most recently, Sarracenia and Nepenthes, the carnivorous pitcher plants.

Carnivorous plants growing in nutrient-poor soils have special organs used to capture insects, digesting them in pitcher fluid in order to supplement their nitrogen uptake. It was hypothesized that these plants must produce selective antibacterial compounds necessary for survival in a decomposing environment within the pitcher shaped trap. From the Sarraceniaceae family, we have isolated iridoids that have demonstrated to be potent inhibitors of bacterial biofilm growth. This class of iridoids has limited published literature available and represents great potential for our internal bacterial biofilm drug discovery program.