The main objective of this Curricular Unit is to promote the development of the necessary skills that will allow the management of activities of innovation in drug discovery from natural sources, in an academic or industrial environment. At the end of the unit the student should be able:
Module I – Discovery of new drugs from natural sources.
Historical perspective. Natural products chemical space and potential in drug innovation. Strategies in drug discovery from natural products. Chemical strategies in drug discovery and optimization of natural scaffolds.
Module II – Introduction to biosynthesis.
Biosynthetic engineering in discovery, development and production of drugs. Primary and secondary metabolism. Reaction mechanisms in biosynthesis.
Module III – Secondary metabolites with potential therapeutic application.
Aromatic polyketides, terpenoids and steroids, shikimate derivatives and alkaloids: biosynthetic pathways; structure-activity relationships; synthetic derivatives as farmacophore probes.