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Perspectives on Using Physcomitrella  Patens as an Alternative Production Platform for Thapsigargin and Other Terpenoid Drug Candidates

Author(s): Henrik Toft Simonsen | Damian Paul Drew | Christina Lunde

Journal: Perspectives in Medicinal Chemistry
ISSN 1177-391X

Volume: 2009;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2009;
Original page

To overcome the potential future demand for terpenoids used as drugs, a new production platform is currently being established in our laboratory. The moss Physcomitrella has been chosen as the candidate organism for production of drug candidates based on terpenoids derived from plants, with a primary focus on the sesquiterpene lactone, thapsigargin. This drug candidate and other candidates/drugs with sesquiterpene skeleton are difficult to obtain by chemical synthesis due to their large number of chiral centers. Furthermore, they are not available in sufficient amounts from their original plant. The requirement for a new production system to meet the potential market demand for these compounds is not only obvious, but also essential if sufficient quantities of the drug candidates are to be available for the potential therapeutic use.
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