Natural Product-Based Drug Discovery in Africa: The Need for Integration into Modern Drug Discovery Paradigms

  • Eric M. Guantai
  • Kelly Chibale


A myriad of infectious diseases continue to cause the death and suffering of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Efforts to mitigate this suffering involve, among others, concerted efforts at discovering and developing new and more efficacious therapies for these diseases. To support these efforts, the full potential of Africa’s rich and vibrant biodiversity as a source of lead compounds and drug candidates needs to be harnessed. This would require a complete reevaluation of how natural product drug discovery is conducted on the continent, and in this chapter, we describe some of the components that could underpin this proposed transformation.


Natural Product Drug Discovery Antiplasmodial Activity Natural Product Research Drug Discovery Effort 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Activity-based protein profiling


Angiotensin-converting enzyme


Absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion


African Laboratory for Natural Products


Chemical Information System




Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative


Highly active antiretroviral therapy


High-throughput screening


Medicines for Malaria Venture


Network for Analytical and Bioassay Services in Africa


Natural Products Research Network for East and Central Africa


Research Initiative on Traditional Antimalarial Methods


South African National Biodiversity Institute


Structure-activity relationship




University of Cape Town


Vanillyl-alcohol oxidase


Walter Reed Army Institute of Research


Worldwide Protein Data Bank


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Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pharmacology, School of PharmacyUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa

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