BEIJING, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have successfully synthesized breviscapine, an extract from a Chinese herb that can cure cardio-cerebrovascular disease, according to Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Breviscapine is the extract from Erigeron breviscapus, a traditional Chinese medicinal plant that grows in China's southwestern regions. It was classified as a prescription drug in Chinese medicine for the clinical treatment of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases 30 years ago. At present, more than 10 million patients use breviscapine and related drugs each year in China.
As the supply of Erigeron breviscapus is insufficient to satisfy the growing market demand, Chinese scientists have developed an alternative, sustainable way to secure the breviscapine supply.
Scientists from Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Yunnan Agricultural University decoded the biosynthetic pathway of breviscapine. They created a yeast cell factory to produce these breviscapine compounds using genomic analysis and synthetic biology tools.
The research was published online by Nature Communications on Jan. 31.
Biosynthetic technology is expected to lower the production cost of breviscapine and lead to sustainable industrial production of breviscapine. It provides a new model for the modernization of traditional Chinese medicine.
A pharmaceutical company in Yunnan Province will use the research to promote the development of related drugs.