The Natural Products Discovery Institute was established in June 2011 as a result of an unprecedented gift by Merck and Company of its entire U.S. Natural Products Library and the Schering-Plough Legacy Culture Collection to the Hepatitis B Foundation’s research affiliate, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. The Blumberg Institute is a Non-Profit 501(3c) Organization that is seeking donors to support the mining of this valuable collection for medical uses of interest to donors. Together, this is one of the largest, most diverse, and most carefully developed natural products collections in the world.
The mission of the Natural Products Discovery Institute is to:
- Maintain and develop its collection of natural products for human benefit, including discovery of human and animal therapeutics, nutritionals, cosmeceuticals, and research and production tools
- Make its collection of natural products available to qualified researchers worldwide
- Provide industry standard follow‐up chemistry to support bioassay driven structure identification and elucidation
- Teach others about therapeutic drug discovery and natural products
- Advance the goals of the Hepatitis B Foundation and its research organization, the Blumberg Institute
The NPDI and its collection are currently housed in approximately 2,500 ft2 of laboratory, office and repository space, including dedicated microbiology, medicinal, and analytical chemistry labs at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Bucks County, PA.
The majority of the collection is maintained in a 1,200 ft2 walk-in freezer, installed and operated by Tescor-Inc.
The NPDI benefits from being a part of the research cluster in the 120,000 ft2, three building Center on a 10-acre campus. It works closely with the 25 principal investigators of the Blumberg Institute and Drexel Institute for Biotechnology and Virology Research (of Drexel University College of Medicine). Scientists include medicinal chemists, analytical chemists, structural biologists, molecular modelers, molecular virologists, pharmacologists, and biostatisticians, all with advanced degrees (PhD, MD, VMD). The Center is also an incubator to more than 32 start-up technology companies that share resources with the non-profit and research institutions.