Improvements in Natural Products through Total Synthesis

Although the total synthesis of natural products has been the forte of many prominent academic laboratories, only a few totally synthetic analogs of natural products have been introduced into commerce. The continued development of efficient and selective synthetic methods could provide alternative supply routes for simpler natural products in the future. Regardless of the issue of practical scalability, total synthesis enables the production and testing of analogs that often illuminate key features of the structure that are critical for biological activity. Paul Wender's research on the bryostatins, potent cytotoxic principles isolated from marine invertebrates, illustrates some of the key insights that can be revealed through total synthesis.

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