Course title

Pharmaceutical Products-Natural and Synthetic

Course code

PPR 104

Type of course

Semi Optional

Level of course

Postgraduate (MSc)

Year of study




ECTS credits


Name of lecturer(s)

Assoc. Prof. F. Lamari, Assis. Prof. V. Magafa, Assoc. Prof. G. Pairas, Assist. Prof. M. Fousteris

Learning outcomes and competences

At the end of this course the student should be able to:

Recognize the most important pharmaceuticals of natural origin, as well as the source and methodology of isolation. In addition, he will understand the most common procedures for the optimization of natural product biological properties (through chemical transformations) towards a more efficient drug molecule.


At the end of the course the student will have further developed the following skills/competences:

Ability to know and understand essential facts, concepts, principles and theories related to Pharmacognosy and the contribution of natural products to drug discovery.

Ability to understand the strategies applied to optimize the physicochemical parameters of bioactive molecules and at the same time retaining and maximizing its therapeutic response.


Students should have at least basic knowledge of Organic Chemistry, as defined in the Eurobachelor core chemistry.

Course contents

Introduction: Definition of pharmacognosy, crude drugs, evaluation and classification of drugs. Medicinal plants. Classification of natural products. Natural products derived biosynthetically from shikimic acid and acetate. Peptide hormones. Antibiotics derived from amino acid metabolism (β-lactam antibiotics). Polypeptide antibiotics and antibiotics derived from acetate metabolism. Natural Products derived biosynthetically from the amino acid metabolism. Natural toxins.

Modifications of bioactive molecules of natural origin aiming to the physicochemical properties optimization, without increasing toxicity and maximizing the therapeutic response at the same time. Penicillin-G as an example. Chemical modifications changing the administration and elimination routes, modifications controlling the activity spectrum and intensity of response.

Recommended reading

1. Gunnar Samuelson, Natural Products of Pharmaceutical Interest (Translation in Greek: P. Cordopatis, Ε. Manesi–Ζoupa, G. Pairas), University of Crete,(1996).

2. K. C. Nikolaou & t. Montagnon, Molecules that changed the world, Wiley-VCH (2008, Weinheim).

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures using slides for overhead projector and/or powerpoint presentations, seminars for the instructive solution of synthetic problems, solution of problems by the students working in teams of two.

Assessment and grading methods

1. An assignment and final presentation on subjects related to the development of medicinal products from bioactive molecules (40% of the final mark, taken into account only when the student secures the minimum mark of 5 in the final written examination)

2. Written examination (60% of the final mark)

Greek grading scale: 1 to 10. Minimum passing grade: 5.

Grades £3 correspond to ECTS grade F.

Grade 4 corresponds to ECTS grade FX.

For the passing grades the following correspondence holds:

5 « E, 6 « D, 7 « C, 8 « B and ³9 « A

Language of instruction

Greek. There can be however instruction in English in case of foreign students’ attendance.