Medicines from nature: are natural products still relevant to drug discovery?

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Historically, most drugs have been derived from natural products, but there has been a shift away from their use with the increasing predominance of molecular approaches to drug discovery. Nevertheless, their structural diversity makes them a valuable source of novel lead compounds against newly discovered therapeutic targets. Technical advances in analytical techniques mean that the use of natural products is easier than before. However, there is a widening gap between natural-product researchers in countries rich in biodiversity and drug discovery scientists immersed in proteomics and high-throughput screening.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-198
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1999


  • biological products
  • pharmaceutical chemistry
  • molecular cloning
  • preclinical drug evaluation
  • ecosystem
  • humans

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