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The island Madagascar a megadiversity area, kingdom of novel leads for drug development*
* Dedicated in the memory of the two greats as pioneers in the field of natural products in Madagascar: Profs Pierre Potier and John Daly
The shifted big island Madagascar from Gondwana has been able to go ahead on its own evolutionary path. As a result, the Malagasy flora and fauna contain many striking elements. About 12,000 species of flowering plants are estimated to occur, of which 85% are endemic: the Madagascan Rosy Perwinkle Catharanthus roseus, Takhtajania perrieri, genus Takhtajania is the unique representative of the subfamily Takhtajanoideae (Winteraceae), thousand of orchids, the endemic Didiereaceae. The fauna is also unique: the percentage of endemism observed in the Madagascan scorpion community is 100.0, while those in Guyana, Ecuador, Paraguay are 76.5, 66.7 and 17.0, respectively; the degree of amphibia endemicity is also 100.0. Current data in the chemistry of natural products are in accordance with this high degree of endemicity. As regard with the structural elucidation and biological activity, the occurrence of a very wide range of biologically active molecules in endemic plant and animal species (spider, scorpion and frogs) is presented and discussed [1,2,3]. They represent over thirty years result works of Malagasy searchers in close collaboration with foreign Research Institutes: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, listed below. On the synthesis point of view, young scientists in our group are currently devoting efforts to the synthesis achievement of the most interesting bioactive molecules cited. Two striking examples are discussed [4,5]
Acknowledgements 1. Department of Organic Chemistry (Close co-workers; 2. Research Institutes: a ICSN/CNRS, Gif; b Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie URD/Paris V; c Laboratoire de Phytochimie UCBL1; d Laboratoire CASA UCBL1; d Laboratoire de Catalyse UST Lille1;
e Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry NIDDK/NIH USA; f Suntory Bioorganic Chemistry, Osaka Japan; g University of Kwazulu-Natal, RSA.
References: 1. Thesis  defended at Antananarivo University (1977-present); 2. Potier ,P. (2001) Le Magasin du Bon Dieu, JC Lattes; 3. Daly, J. (2003)J. Nat. Prod. 1345 4. Razanamahefa, D. et al. (2005) Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.15: 2301 5. Aubry, S. (2007) Tetrahedron Lett. 48:9163