The Latin American ICBG: The first five years

B. N. Timmermann, G. Wachter, S. Valcic, B. Hutchinson, C. Casler, J. Henzel, S. Ram, F. Currim, R. Manak, S. Franzblau, W. Maiese, D. Galinis, E. Suarez, R. Fortunato, E. Saavedra, R. Bye, R. Mata, G. Montenegro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The University of Arizona was awarded an International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) Program in 1993 for research into drug discovery from arid-adapted plants, biodiversity conservation and economic development in Latin America. The second phase of this program, initiated in 1998, will add the study of endophytic microorganisms as potential sources of new drugs. While biodiversity from arid lands is well known to produce a vast array of natural products as defensive agents and poisons, they have received much less attention than plants and microorganisms from the tropical rainforests as potential sources of useful biological agents. This experimental effort, funded by the U.S. government, is done in cooperation with universities and research institutions from the U.S.A., Argentina, Chile and Mexico, and U.S. pharmaceutical and agrochemical corporations. Detailed intellectual property agreements were fully executed among the participants defining work and funding commitments, ownership of materials, licensing rights and distribution of potential benefits. The collaborative model for bioprospecting employed in this ICBG has been studied with great enthusiasm by institutions developing access and benefit-sharing policies in Chile, Argentina, Mexico and other countries. Capacity building has been done to support the research and conservation efforts of the overall project by building laboratory infrastructure and information handling capabilities, and by promoting exchange of resources, information and ideas through formal links between the collaborating institutions. We currently summarize the goals, accomplishments, challenges, problems, and solutions encountered in the first five years of this ICBG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-54
Number of pages20
JournalPharmaceutical Biology
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - 1999


  • Argentina
  • Bioprospecting
  • Chile
  • Conservation
  • Drug discovery
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Mexico

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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