Natural products are chemical compounds found in nature originating in plants, animals, and microbial and marine sources. Such products are important in the cosmetics, food, and nutrition industries because of their many beneficial properties and positive commercial image. Many active pharmaceutical compounds are natural products or derivatives of natural compounds, and it is estimated that some 40% of the drugs marketed today are derived from chemical structures found in nature. Well known examples include the anticancer agent paclitaxel (sold as Taxol), originally extracted from the Pacific yew tree; the heart medicine digoxin, extracted from the foxglove plant; and aspirin, derived from a precursor found in the leaves of the willow tree, and used for its health benefits for thousands of years. Typically, such natural compounds have better bioavailability than synthetic compounds.
In recent years there has been a revival in interest in exploring and testing natural compounds in lead discovery, as they often present a wide range of novel and exploitable structural motifs. Examples include the study of marine natural products as potential antimicrobial agents, and plant extracts as antifungal agents. There are many free and paid-access databases of natural products. These databases extract information from the scientific literature and other sources and they usually contain detailed information about each compound. However, such databases typically lack information about commercial sources of samples of these natural products, and lead discovery scientists are often frustrated by the low success rate of sourcing samples for screening.
S. O'Hagan and D.B. Kell at the University of Manchester recently published an interesting comparison of MolPort and proprietary Natural Product database data, with the goal of creating available-to-purchase natural product diversity sets. In a follow up study authors selected a small library of Natural Products to cover chemical space inexpensively. Please contact us if you are considering purchasing this or a similar natural product set, as we can provide a unique offer to meet your needs.
Another very topical application of in silico techniques to the MolPort natural products database is described in a paper published by two Egyptian academic groups. In the search for potential therapeutics active against Covid-19, they searched the MolPort database for possible inhibitors of the main SARS-CoV-2 protease. They first screened and filtered the database using molecular docking techniques to locate 5000 potential leads. These were then processed by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and molecular mechanics (MM) binding energy calculations. Combined MD/MM calculations revealed nine potent NLPs in the MolPort database with promising binding affinities and suitable drug-likeness characteristics. This shows the value of exploring MolPort's database of available, diverse natural and natural-like products as a source of potential therapeutic agents to address critical unmet medical needs.
Upon our request, suppliers classified their natural and natural-like products according to the following ranked classification rules:
|Naturally sourced||NS||Sample isolated from a natural source|
|Genuine natural||GN||Compound occurs in nature, but the specific product may have been produced synthetically|
|Natural compound derivatives||ND||Compound is a derivative of a GN|
|Natural-like||NL||Mimetics or analogs|
Our files contain information on the highest potential class available.
For example, if a supplier has no evidence of a product occurring in nature, they can classify it as 'natural-like' (NL); however, another supplier may provide a product based on the same molecule, which is sourced from plant extracts and can be classified as 'naturally sourced' (NS). In this case our file will contain the compound category 'naturally sourced' for this molecule.
The following suppliers have already provided their data for natural products classification:
|#||Supplier Name||Number of Products|
|2.||AnalytiCon Discovery, GmbH||30,322|
|6.||Life Chemicals Inc.||2,593|
|10.||HTS Biochemie Innovationen||429|
|11.||J&K SCIENTIFIC LTD.||420|
|12.||Alinda Chemical, Ltd.||200|
|13.||BIONET/Key Organics Ltd.||183|
Note: the actual data on the number of products available for sale may be less due to sold out products and other factors. Also note that the total number of molecules available in our files will be less, since some compounds are often provided by multiple suppliers.
Some suppliers provide this information, whereas others do not, or at least not for free. Please contact us to discuss your request. Please note that the same compounds from the same supplier can sometimes be sourced from different species, depending on the batch.
No. However, some of our suppliers do.
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