2017 Volume 52 Issue 2 Pages 140-147
Thirty-eight alkaloid drugs originating from amino acid have been launched between the 1940s and 2010s in Japan. Of those, 20 were natural alkaloid drugs and 17 were semi-synthetic alkaloid drugs. Most them were developed leading into the 1960s. They were classified as narcotic drugs, cardiovascular agents, central nerve system agents, and so on. The market for amino acid-based alkaloid drugs was not large compared to that for other synthetic drugs. The reasons for this were considered to be, 1) the drug receptor is limited, 2) difficulty in realizing a higher efficacy while reducing side effects, and 3) the difficulty of providing a stable supply of the materials required from natural products.