Biomol Ther.  2017 Nov;25(6):559-568. 10.4062/biomolther.2016.249.

Application of Metabolomics to Quality Control of Natural Product Derived Medicines

  • 1College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Republic of Korea.


Metabolomics has been used as a powerful tool for the analysis and quality assessment of the natural product (NP)-derived medicines. It is increasingly being used in the quality control and standardization of NP-derived medicines because they are composed of hundreds of natural compounds. The most common techniques that are used in metabolomics consist of NMR, GC-MS, and LC-MS in combination with multivariate statistical analyses including principal components analysis (PCA) and partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). Currently, the quality control of the NP-derived medicines is usually conducted using HPLC and is specified by one or two indicators. To create a superior quality control framework and avoid adulterated drugs, it is necessary to be able to determine and establish standards based on multiple ingredients using metabolic profiling and fingerprinting. Therefore, the application of various analytical tools in the quality control of NP-derived medicines forms the major part of this review. Veregen® (Medigene AG, Planegg/Martinsried, Germany), which is the first botanical prescription drug approved by US Food and Drug Administration, is reviewed as an example that will hopefully provide future directions and perspectives on metabolomics technologies available for the quality control of NP-derived medicines.


Metabolomics; Natural product-derived medicines; Quality control; Veregen®
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