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Therapeutic Compounds in Nature as Leads for New Pharmaceuticals

Pharmacology

  1. Antony D. Buss1,
  2. Brian Cox2,
  3. Roger D. Waigh3

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200500072

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Buss, A. D., Cox, B. and Waigh, R. D. 2006. Therapeutic Compounds in Nature as Leads for New Pharmaceuticals. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte. Ltd, Science Park II, Singapore

  2. 2

    Novartis Pharma Research Centre, Horsham, UK

  3. 3

    University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

For most of Nature's flora and fauna, the struggle for survival is often waged at the molecular level. Over time this intense, unending competition has resulted in an armamentarium of small organic molecules with a structural diversity and biological potency often unrivalled by the best efforts and imaginations of scientists. Many of these natural products have proved invaluable in providing templates for the construction of novel drugs with applications in a wide range of therapeutic areas. In fact, the pharmaceuticals derived from microbial and plant secondary metabolites have been directly responsible for doubling life expectancy in the 20th century and more than half of approved drugs are either natural products or related to them. They have revolutionised clinical practice and are still one of the most important sources of anticancer, antiinfective and immunosuppressant agents.

Keywords:

  • Antibiotics;
  • Drug Discovery;
  • Natural Products;
  • Pharmaceuticals;
  • Screening;
  • Secondary Metabolites