Although traditionally natural products have played an important role in drug discovery, in the past few years most Big Pharma companies have either terminated or considerably scaled down their natural product operations. This is despite a significant number of natural product-derived drugs being ranked in the top 35 worldwide selling ethical drugs during 2000-2003. Recently (Since from 2010), there has been a renewed interest in natural product research due to the failure of alternative drug discovery methods to deliver many lead compounds in key therapeutic areas such as oncology, immunosuppression, anti-infectives, and metabolic diseases. To continue to be competitive with other drug discovery methods, natural product research needs to continually improve the speed of the screening, isolation, and structure elucidation processes, as well addressing the suitability of screens for natural product extracts and dealing with issues involved with large-scale compound supply. The talk will emphasize on the role of natural products in Drug-Design and Discovery and the present Pharma market scenario.
Polymorphism, the ability of a substance to exist in more than one crystal form, has grown in importance over the last few years. While polymorphism as a phenomenon is prevalent in every industry, the influence in pharmaceutics has attracted immense attention thanks to the fundamental and commercial ramifications as well as the economic factors involved. Because many formulations like pills and tablets contain the active ingredient in solid form and also the crystal structure of a compound can influence many properties like solubility, hygroscopicity, chemical stability, etc., it is essential to screen, characterize and identify the optimum solid state form for therapeutic use. The talk will highlight the effect of polymorphism in materials, drugs in particular, and some patent cases pertaining to drug polymorphism.