Bioactive Phytochemicals: Drug Discovery to Product Development

Drug Discovery from Plant Sources: Scope, Approach and Challenges

Author(s): Javed Ahmad and Javed Ahamad

Pp: 1-13 (13)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811464485120010004

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Medicinal plants are recognized to fulfill human necessities like food, clothes, shelter and health. The search for eternal health and longevity to seek remedy to relieve discomfort prompted mankind to develop many ways and means of health care systems. Traditional medicines were practiced in ancient civilizations for the cure of ailments. In recent years, natural products play a very important role in drug discovery for life-threatening ailments like cancer, malaria, diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Recently, drug discovery from plants for the treatment of cancer gets more focused and leads to the discovery of novel anticancer drugs such as paclitaxel, docetaxel, topotecan, irinotecan, vincristine and vinblastine. Drug discovery from plants is a long and tedious process, and it requires selecting suitable plants, preclinical screening, clinical evaluation and drug approval for marketing. Herbal medicines obtained from plants are generally considered safe compared to synthetic drugs, and secondary metabolites obtained from plants have more chemical diversity and considered superior to synthetic combinatorial chemicals. In this book chapter, we comprehensively discussed the advantages and role of higher plants in drug discovery, steps and approaches of drug discovery from higher plants.

Keywords: Approaches of Drug Discovery, Cancer, Drug Discovery, Diabetes, Malaria, Natural Products, Plants.

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