The Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) and Sequoia Sciences, Inc. (Sequoia) signed a collaborative agreement in January 2000 to provide compounds from natural sources to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and agrochemical companies for biological screening.

Under the terms of this agreement, Sequoia rapidly extracts, purifies and characterizes compounds from plants collected worldwide by MBG and distributes these compounds to biological screening programs. To collect plants, Sequoia and MBG jointly apply to appropriate government agencies from each country of origin to receive approvals. Plant collections occur under agreements that honor the sovereignty of each country and its sole right to manage its biological resources. These agreements provide for the equitable sharing of revenues generated from the distribution of compounds, product development successes and commercial products between Sequoia/MBG and the countries of origin. The program also provides resources for educational training, infrastructure development, conservation programs and sustainable development.

MBG, located in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the world’s leading botanical research centers. The research division of MBG strives to inventory plants species worldwide, strengthen international botanical institutions and share knowledge about plants. Its herbarium contains more than 5 million specimens. The combined resources of MBG’s herbarium and library of reference materials provide an unparalleled setting for accurate identification of plants, regardless of their geographic origin.

Of national and international programs in which plants are collected and analyzed for biological activity, the applied research department of MBG is the most experienced and respected. Collecting plants for research companies and government agencies since 1986, MBG has collected over 40,000 plant specimens in over nine nations worldwide for evaluation in pharmaceutical, nutritional and agricultural research programs.

Focusing on chemical diversity, MBG botanists use a strategic method of collecting plant samples. All plant families in a specific geographical region are surveyed to ensure that the greatest representation of nature’s chemical diversity is utilized comprehensively.