A common strategy in drug discovery programs is to build insight into the chemical structures and binding modes of natural substrates (for enzymes) or ligands (for receptors) to design new drugs. The assumption is made that since substrates/ligands have co-evolved with their corresponding targets for optimal binding, mimicking their structural features should retain optimal biological effects. Another approach is to look for molecules from natural sources that are unrelated to the drug target under investigation. In fact, it has been reported that at least 60% of the drugs currently on the market were derived either directly from natural products or were inspired by natural products. Natural products are often produced by living organisms to defend themselves or to confer them an advantage over other organisms. These properties have been exploited with natural products or analogues acting as antifungals, antibiotics and anti-cancer agents. 
Natural product collections exhibit a wide range of pharmacophores and a high degree of stereochemistry, and these properties are expected to contribute to the ability of such collections to provide hits — even against the more difficult screening targets, such as protein– protein interactions. However, natural products may have the additional advantage over synthetic compounds of being natural metabolites: compounds that are successful as drugs have been suggested to have the property of ‘metabolite-likeness’. This means that such compounds are not only biologically active but also likely to be substrates for one or more of the many transporter systems that can deliver the compounds to their intracellular site of action. A high degree of bioavailability could be particularly important if the trend towards more functional assays continues. 
 S. De Cesco, J. Kurian, C. Dufresne, A. K. Mittermaier, and N. Moitessier, “Covalent inhibitors design and discovery,” Eur. J. Med. Chem., vol. 138, pp. 96–114, 2017, doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2017.06.019.
 A. L. Harvey, R. Edrada-Ebel, and R. J. Quinn, “The re-emergence of natural products for drug discovery in the genomics era,” Nat. Rev. Drug Discov., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 111–129, 2015, doi: 10.1038/nrd4510.
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