Design, synthesis and investigation of antitumour agents based on natural products


Session type:

Mark Searcey

School of Chemical Sciences & Pharmacy, University of East Anglia, UK


Natural products have formed the basis of - or the inspiration for - the majority of clinically used antitumour agents. The move towards molecular therapeutics and Lipinski-like dogma have failed to dim the potential of these compounds in cancer research as compounds such as geldanamycin, the epothilones and trabectedin clearly demonstrate. In this presentation, the potential of natural products in cancer research will be re-emphasised and placed into context.

Using examples of from our own lab, including the azinomycins, duocarmycins, quinoxaline antibiotics and the neotpetrosiamides, we will show that the study of natural products through carefully designed synthetic chemistry can lead to an understanding of the structural features that contribute to biological activity. With this knowledge we can design synthetic analogues, and potentially more Lipinski-like compounds with similar activity.