Caithness Biotechnologies: Natural product libraries for drug discovery Harnessing Nature for drug discovery
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1) Advantages
2) Novelty
3) Rationale
4) Intellectual property
5) Unique molecules
6) Hit-rate
7) Diversity
8) Resupply
9) Unextracted herbs
10) Extraction
11) Ethnic data
12) Screening
13) Shelf-life
14) Kit sizes
15) Separation
16) Human studies
17) Pre-fractionation
18) 'Frequent hitters'


Natural Product libraries for drug discovery


Frequently asked questions

1) What are the advantages and disadvantages of plant extract libraries compared to synthetic molecule libraries?

For a more expansive discussion of the factors affecting the decision to choose a plant extract or a synthetic compound library, please click here.

Generally speaking however, synthetic compound libraries offer the advantage of a more rapid progression from hit discovery to the lead optimisation stage, since every compound in the library is of known structure and means of synthesis.

By contrast, phytochemicals occupy a chemical space with a far greater structural diversity than synthetic compound libraries, and tend to be more ‘drug-like’, with superior ADME/T (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity) properties.

Plants have also faced millennia of intense selective pressure to develop secondary metabolites that target specific pathways in microbes or herbivores, including mammals.

As a result, the typical ‘hit-rate’ of natural product library screens tends to much higher than those yielded by synthetic libraries.

For this reason, and because plant extracts contain hundreds of compounds per well, the early screening stages of plant extract libraries are much less costly in terms of labour, time and reagents, than equivalent screens of synthetic compound libraries.

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Natural product libraries for drug discovery


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