COST Action Natchemdrugs

COST Action Natchemdrugs: addressing the role of natural products in drug discovery

On the 13th and 14th of December, the European project for cooperation in science and technology COST Action Natchemdrugs held its final meeting in the city of La Laguna.

Organised by the Institute of Natural Products and Agrobiology (IPNA) of the CSIC, the event brought together more than a hundred participants from all over Europe and was attended by the president of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry, Antonio M. Echavarren, as plenary speaker.

In its four years of work, this initiative has brought together research groups from different scientific disciplines at European level with the shared goal of fostering the discovery of new drugs by exploring the synergies between academic research and the business sector and resorting to the chemistry of natural products as inspiration. In this sense, Echavarren stated that the research on natural products for pharmacological purposes "constitutes one of the most important areas of present-day chemistry research" and allows a "real connection between society and the research community".

Nature relies on "complex structures that evolution has given us humans as inspiration for medicines," he added. The president of the Real Sociedad Española de Química (Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry) also pointed out that Spain is currently very well placed amongst the leaders in this field, and that research groups working in centres such as IPNA "do a very interesting work", facing this area of chemistry, in which there are still many challenges to be resolved, with energy and new ideas.

Last week, COST Action Natchemdrugs also carried out the training session "Computational modeling tools in drug discovery with natural products", organised jointly by IPNA and the Universidad de La Laguna's University Institute of Bio-organics "Antonio González", that was attended by more than forty young European researchers. IPNA has an extensive background in the research of natural products from plants, marine organisms or fungi for the development of new products for the pharmaceutical, veterinary, food or cosmetics industry. 

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COST Action Natchemdrugs: addressing the role of natural products in drug discovery