Unlocking the potential of natural products in drug discovery
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The natural product specialized metabolites produced by microbes and plants are the backbone of our current drugs. Despite their historical importance, few pharmaceutical companies currently emphasize their exploitation in new drug discovery and instead favour synthetic compounds as more tractable alternatives. Ironically, we are in a Golden Age of understanding of natural product biosynthesis, biochemistry and engineering. These advances have the potential to usher in a new era of natural product exploration and development taking full advantage of the unique and favourable properties of natural products compounds in drug discovery.
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