Nature Reviews Highlight the Importance of Natural Products in Drug Discovery

Advances and opportunities of natural products research for the development of new therapeutics was just highlighted with a publication in the prestigious journal Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, of course, a widely read and influential journal. This publication was prepared with the participation of multiple GA members (including the current GA President Prof. Dr. Judith M. Rollinger and Vice-President Prof. Michael Heinrich) and under the leadership of the natural product-focused open innovation platform International Natural Product Sciences Taskforce (INPST) coordinated by Dr. Atanas G. Atanasov (first author of the publication).

Advances in new analytical techniques, genome mining and engineering, as well as microbial culturing systems are outlined as three major areas of development that are already making  great impacts and are likely to shape the future of natural product drug discovery. The significant recent developments in these areas are revitalizing natural product research, and offering solutions for some of the traditional challenges for natural product-based drug discovery related to screening, isolation, characterization, and optimization. The technological and scientific advances highlighted have the potential to provide a new push for natural product-based drug discovery in established high-impact areas such as infectious diseases and cancer. Moreover, emerging opportunities with a high potential for application of natural product-derived therapeutics are outlined, including the development of botanical preparations containing complex mixtures of compounds, and microbiota-targeting natural product preparations. Based on the advances and opportunities summarized, the authors overall present a vision why natural products will continue to make major contributions in the development of new drugs for the betterment of human health.

The full text of the publication can be accessed at the website of the publisher.

Drug Discovery


General Information

The GA (Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research) is dedicated to the scientific exchange of information about medicinal plants, their pharmacology; the phytochemistry, biosynthesis and biotechnology of natural products, and related fields to basic and applied research on medicinal plants and natural products. One of our key aims is to foster research and disseminate information about evidence based medical uses of natural substances.

This press release provides information and an assessment of the current scientific evidence for scientific, educational and non-commercial use. It is for the purpose of disseminating information only and does not constitute and form of advice.


Correspondence for further information can be addressed to Dr. Atanas G. Atanasov

International Natural Product Sciences Taskforce