Strategies for discovering drugs from previously unexplored natural products

Alan Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

366 Citations (Scopus)


Natural products are the most consistently successful source of drug leads. Despite this, their use in drug discovery has fallen out of favour. Natural products continue to provide greater structural diversity than standard combinatorial chemistry and so they offer major opportunities for finding novel low molecular weight lead structures that are active against a wide range of assay targets. As less than 10% of the world's biodiversity has been tested for biological activity, many more useful natural lead compounds are awaiting discovery. The challenge is how to access this natural chemical diversity. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-300
Number of pages7
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2000


  • biodiversity
  • natural products
  • high throughput screening
  • combinatorial genetics
  • plant tissue culture
  • drug discovery


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