Emerging Technology in Natural Product Drug Development

The development of natural product-derived drugs poses significant challenges in several areas. Of prime concern is the supply of the drug in sufficient quantities to permit preclinical, and hopefully clinical, development, and ultimately, if given a successful, clinical outcome, commercial production. Another major challenge is that of formulation. Natural products generally are highly insoluble in aqueous media, and such solubility is a prime requirement for administration of the drug to human patients, particularly through the intravenous route commonly used in the treatment of cancer patients. 

Drug discovery within the pharmaceutical industry, with few exceptions, is based on the high throughput screening (HTS) of tens of thousands of compounds a week, using enzyme or receptor-based assays designed to uncover compounds with specific mechanisms of action.50 This poses a dual problem for natural products screening. In the first place, crude natural product extracts are complex mixtures, containing hundreds of compounds, often including polyphenolic compounds such as plant tannins
Natural products have also been evaluated by several cheminformatic methods in recent years. Feher and Schmidt showed that natural products have better drug-like properties than a random sample of compounds prepared by combinatorial chemistry.

  • High-Throughput Screening
  • Combinatorial Chemistry
  • Combinatorial Chemistry
  • Bioinformatics, Proteomics and Genomics

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