Marine pharmacology: an ocean to explore novel drugs

Vadlakonda Sruthi, Nagur Sharone Grace, Monica N., Valishetti Manoj Kumar


The rise in burden of diseases and treatment failure demands discovery of novel compounds. Exploiting natural sources which include territory of land and water in potential manner paves the way for significant future innovations in drug discovery. Marine environment has striking functionalities in its skeleton that has fascinated scientists to show enormous interest in investigation of new compounds. Marine sponges, algae, tunicates, sea whip etc. from the marine pipeline are the important sources for biological active compounds. Recent technology advancements further added to the domain of drug research in isolation and evaluation of marine derived products. To date, significant number of compounds have been isolated. Wide range of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, neuroprotective, antiviral, anticancer, analgesic, antimicrobial, antimalarial compounds have been pursued in control and management of diseases. These represent marine ecosystem as a hopeful resource in discovery of novel compounds with ideal starting point in scaffolding additional screening of natural marine products. This is review of abstracting on history, lead development process in identifying and comprehending basic nature of compounds that is promising initial step towards unique pharmacological design, the triumph of approved and ongoing trails, brief depiction on current status and challenges being faced in marine drug discovery field.


Marine pharmacology, Sources, Classification, Drug discovery, PUFA, Challenges

Full Text:



Malve H. Exploring the ocean for new drug developments: Marine pharmacology. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2016;8(2):83-91.

Donia M, Hamann MT. Marine natural products and their potential applications as anti-infective agents. Lancet Infect Dis. 2003;3:338-48.

Thakur NL, Thakur AN, Muller WEG. Marine natural products in drug discovery. Natural Product Radiance. 2005;4:471-7.

Marine pharmacology: Potential, challenges, and future in India.

Kanase HR, Naman KM, Singh, Mayer AM, Glaser KB, Cuevas C, et al. The odyssey of marine pharmaceuticals: A current pipeline perspective. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2010;31:255-65.

Moczydlowski EG. The molecular mystique of tetrodotoxin. Toxicon. 2013;63:165-83.

Alice OD, Elegbede IO. Impact and Challenges of Marine Medicine to Man and its Environment. Poult Fish Wildl Sci. 2016;4:160.

Jiao G. Chemical Structures and Bioactivities of Sulfated Polysaccharides from Marine Algae. Mar Drugs. 2011;9:196-223.

Patrizia P. New Drugs from Marine Organisms in Alzheimer’s disease. Mar Drugs. 2016;1:5.

Bhatnagar I, Kim SK. Marine antitumor drugs: Status, shortfalls and strategies. Mar Drugs. 2010;8:2702-20.

Etchin J, John P, Kanki A. Zebrafish as a Model for the Study of Human Cancer. Thomas Look Volume. 2011;105:309-37.

Lindequist U. Marine - Derived Pharmaceuticals - Challenges and Opportunities. Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2016;24(6):561-71.

Structural revisions of natural products by total synthesis Maier MEN at Prod Rep. 2009;26(9):1105-24.