Harnessing the potential of natural products in drug discovery from a cheminformatics vantage point
Natural products (NPs) present a privileged source of inspiration for chemical probe and drug design. Despite the biological pre-validation of the underlying molecular architectures and their relevance in drug discovery, the poor accessibility to NPs, complexity of the synthetic routes and scarce knowledge of their macromolecular counterparts in phenotypic screens still hinder their broader exploration. Cheminformatics algorithms now provide a powerful means of circumventing the abovementioned challenges and unlocking the full potential of NPs in a drug discovery context. Herein, I discuss recent advances in the computer-assisted design of NP mimics and how artificial intelligence may accelerate future NP-inspired molecular medicine.