Natural products are an important source for pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, cosmetics and other functional admixtures. More than 1000 compounds alone have been taken from plants, animals or other marine resources for medicinal, nutritional and cosmetic use. However, progress in the life sciences opened the stage for a new generation of natural compounds: DNA sequences from terrestrial and aquatic resources like plants, animals or microbial organisms led to recombinant proteins with uncomparable properties.
But the access to natural products is contested. The Nagoya Protocol and the Convention on Biological Diversity regulate the access, although these conventions have yet to be implemented in the EU and national law. This process is still ongoing and touches issues such as biodiversity, better conservation, more sustainable use of marine biodiversity and the enhancement of cooperation and synergy between providers of biodiversity and their industrial users. This is highly critical for countries exhibiting a rich biodiversity to create new added value on a global scale. The regulations will have an impact on the patenting system. This BIOCOM conference addressed the latest regulations and illustrated the practical use.