Logistics and politics in plant drug discovery: the other end of the spectrum
ACS symposium series: 34) 96-111
Plant-drug discovery comprises a spectrum of activities, with the collection and identification of the plant materials to be tested on one end and the isolation and evaluation of biologically active compound(s) on the other. During the period of 1986-1991, a plant-collecting program was undertaken in the tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia as part of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) anticancer and anti-AIDS screening program. After five years of operation, the first cycle of the plant collection program was successfully completed, with the collection of more than 10,000 samples, comprising more than 2,500 angiosperm species, distributed in more than 200 families. In vitro anti-HIV test results provided by the NCI to date clearly demonstrate that logistics and politics have played an important role in this plant-drug discovery program.