Drug-like Properties: Guiding Principles for the Design of Natural Product Libraries
While natural products or their derivatives and mimics have contributed around 50% of current drugs, there has been no approach allowing front-loading of chemical space compliant with lead- and drug-like properties. The importance of physicochemical properties of molecules in the development of orally bioavailable drugs has been recognized. Classical natural product drug discovery has only been able to undertake this analysis retrospectively after compounds are isolated and structures elucidated. The present approach addresses front-loading of both extracts and subsequent fractions with desired physicochemical properties prior to screening for drug discovery. The physicochemical profiles of natural products active against two neglected disease targets, malaria and African trypanosomiasis, are presented based on this strategy. This approach can ensure timely development of natural product leads at a hitherto unachievable rate.