The natural products and the modern medicinal chemistry

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Natural products have been utilized by humans since ancient times and the relief and cure of their diseases was the first purpose for using natural products in medicine. The history of the oriental and occidental civilizations is very rich in examples of the utilization of natural products in medicine and health care. Chinese traditional medicine is one of the most important examples of how natural products can be efficient in the treatment of diseases, and it points to the importance of scientific research on natural products, concerning the discovery of new active chemical entities. The complexity, chemical diversity and biological properties of natural products always fascinated people, and during the last 200 years, this led to the discovery of important new drugs. In the last 30 years, the development of new bioassay techniques, biotechnology methods, bio-guided phytochemical studies, automated high throughput screening and high performance analytical methods, have introduced new concepts and possibilities of rational drug design and drug discovery. In this context, natural products have played an important and decisive role in the development of modern medicinal chemistry.




Viegas, C., Da Silva Bolzani, V., & Barreiro, E. J. (2006). The natural products and the modern medicinal chemistry. Quimica Nova, 29(2), 326–337.

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