Development of Marine Drugs and Natural Products

Natural products are believed to have the advantage of having enormous structural and chemical diversity, increased protein binding characteristics (due to complex structure) and specific biological activity. Also these serve as good lead compounds suitable for further modification. Bioactive compounds from marine flora and fauna have extensive past and present use in the treatment of many diseases and serve as compounds of interest both in their natural form and as templates for synthetic modification. Several molecules isolated from various marine organisms (microorganisms, algae, fungi, invertebrates, and vertebrates) are currently under study at an advanced stage of clinical trials, some of them have already been marketed as drugs.

Increasing marine biodiversity preservation and research programs throughout the world are a definite sign that the world is getting ready for a new variety of pharmaceutical compounds that would be fighting a broad spectrum of diseases. With an estimated 70% organisms to be investigated, pharmaceutical companies hope to find a cure for high-risk and fatal diseases in the coming years. Marine organisms are expected to be viable for production of drug compounds, biomaterials, nutritional supplements, and several types of algae are being used for the production of alcohol as an energy source.

Compounds from sponges, soft corals, bryozoans, algae etc produce a great deal of novel bioactive compounds to the pharmaceutical industry. A lot of novel compounds had been isolated from 900m depth of sea only. Although the marine resources have been somewhat limited to date, recently extracted compounds are sponges, sea horses, nudibranches, bryozoans. various other additional factor such as preclinical evaluation of new toxicological model, investigation of metabolic path way, identification of metabolic pathway, identification feasible clinical formulation, clearly imply the need of experts from different area of research.

  • Natural product synthesis impacting cell biology
  • Transgenic plants and crops
  • Synthesis of mycobacterial natural products
  • Marine and natural drugs under clinical trials
  • Synthesis of novel macrolide-based antibiotics
  • New technologies and efficient collaborations

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