Natural products in drug discovery

Atanas G. Atanasov, Sergey B. Zotchev, Verena M. Dirsch, , Ilkay Erdogan Orhan, Maciej Banach, Judith M. Rollinger, Davide Barreca, Wolfram Weckwerth, Rudolf Bauer, Edward A. Bayer, Muhammed Majeed, Anupam Bishayee, Valery Bochkov, Günther K. Bonn, Nady Braidy, Franz Bucar, Alejandro Cifuentes, Grazia D’Onofrio, Michael Bodkin, Marc Diederich, Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova, Thomas Efferth, Khalid El Bairi, Nicolas Arkells, Tai Ping Fan, Bernd L. Fiebich, Michael Freissmuth, Milen I. Georgiev, Simon Gibbons, Keith M. Godfrey, Christian W. Gruber, Jag Heer, Lukas A. Huber, Elena Ibanez, Anake Kijjoa, Anna K. Kiss, Aiping Lu, Francisco A. Macias, Mark J.S. Miller, Andrei Mocan, Rolf Müller, Ferdinando Nicoletti, George Perry, Valeria Pittalà, Luca Rastrelli, Daniela Schuster, Hermann Stuppner, Michael Wink, Michael Heinrich, Robert Verpoorte, Claudiu T. Supuran

Natural products and their structural analogues have historically made a major contribution to pharmacotherapy, especially for cancer and infectious diseases. Nevertheless, natural products also present challenges for drug discovery, such as technical barriers to screening, isolation, characterization and optimization, which contributed to a decline in their pursuit by the pharmaceutical industry from the 1990s onwards. In recent years, several technological and scientific developments — including improved analytical tools, genome mining and engineering strategies, and microbial culturing advances — are addressing such challenges and opening up new opportunities. Consequently, interest in natural products as drug leads is being revitalized, particularly for tackling antimicrobial resistance. Here, we summarize recent technological developments that are enabling natural product-based drug discovery, highlight selected applications and discuss key opportunities.

Research Platform Vienna Metabolomics Center, Large-Instrument Facility for Mass Spectrometry in Life Sciences, Functional and Evolutionary Ecology
External organisation(s)
Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), Medizinische Universität Wien, Gazi University, Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital Research Institute (PMMHRI), Università degli Studi di Messina, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, BioTechMed-Graz, Weizmann Institute of Science, Sami Labs Limited, Sabinsa Corporation, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), Medizinische Universität Innsbruck, University of New South Wales, Institute of Food Science Research CIAL (UAM-CSIC), Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza), Evotec (UK) Ltd, Seoul National University (SNU), University of Dundee, Johns Hopkins University, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Université Mohammed Ier, International Natural Product Sciences Taskforce (INPST), University of Cambridge, Northwestern University, Xi'an, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Center of Plant Systems Biology and Biotechnology, UCL School of Pharmacy, University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, UCB Pharma Ltd, Austrian Drug Screening Institute, ICBAS-Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar & CIIMAR, Universidade do Porto, Medical University of Warsaw, Hong Kong Baptist University, University of Cádiz, Kaiviti Consulting, LLC, Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Universität des Saarlandes, Università degli Studi di Catania, University of Texas, San Antonio, Università degli Studi di Salerno, Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversität (PMU), Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, China Medical University, Leiden University, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Università degli Studi di Firenze
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
104013 Natural product chemistry, 106034 Phytochemistry, 106022 Microbiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Pharmacology, Drug Discovery
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