Evolved metabolites hold the answers to medicines for vast numbers of diseases. We discover them.
Many of the proteins and signaling pathways that cause human disease are known, but have remained out of reach for drug discovery. Yet, evolution has created elegant solutions to many of these “undruggable” targets. Secondary metabolites – chemical compounds produced by microbes – can be used to uniquely inhibit proteins involved in human disease. Now, we have a way to find them and develop them into medicines.