Natural products have an interesting story. The story of Taxol or Paclitaxel is interesting from its discovery as a natural product extracted from the bark tree to use as a cancer therapeutic. This compound came out of a screening effort in 1962 and it took until 2001 to become the highest selling cancer therapeutic. Now, this  did arise from a National Cancer Institute funding for a screening of natural products but it was manufactured from the bark of the tree till very recently since the chemical synthesis was too expensive in time and money. What is also interesting is the role that endophytes play in the manufacture of paclitaxel, since one hypothesis is that the  fungus living inside the plant makes the actual molecule. However, there has been doubt that it can do the production by itself.
Currently the largest manufacturer of paclitaxel is a company called Phyton Biotech that performs plant cell fermentation reaction to produce the molecule in the presence of the fungus.
Endophytes fungi were covered in a movie about Dr. Gary Strobel called “Jewels of the Jungle” who discovered the science of endophytes and collected plants from various locations and extracted useful molecules from them. Dr Strobel’s paper referenced below highlights some of his remarkable discoveries and combining a biomarker study with treatment may help understand the diverse function of these complex molecules.

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