Synthesis of medicinally relevant terpenes: reducing the cost and time of drug discovery

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Terpenoids constitute a significant fraction of molecules produced by living organisms that have found use in medicine and other industries. Problems associated with their procurement and adaptation for human use can be solved using chemical synthesis, which is an increasingly economical option in the modern era of chemistry. This article documents, by way of individual case studies, strategies for reducing the time and cost of terpene synthesis for drug discovery. A major trend evident in recent syntheses is that complex terpenes are increasingly realistic starting points for both medicinal chemistry campaigns and large-scale syntheses, at least in the context of the academic laboratory, and this trend will likely penetrate the commercial sector in the near future.

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