Pharmacokinetics of Marine-Derived Drugs

Mar Drugs. 2020 Nov 9;18(11):557. doi: 10.3390/md18110557.


Marine organisms represent an excellent source of innovative compounds that have the potential for the development of new drugs. The pharmacokinetics of marine drugs has attracted increasing interest in recent decades due to its effective and potential contribution to the selection of rational dosage recommendations and the optimal use of the therapeutic arsenal. In general, pharmacokinetics studies how drugs change after administration via the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME). This review provides a summary of the pharmacokinetics studies of marine-derived active compounds, with a particular focus on their ADME. The pharmacokinetics of compounds derived from algae, crustaceans, sea cucumber, fungus, sea urchins, sponges, mollusks, tunicate, and bryozoan is discussed, and the pharmacokinetics data in human experiments are analyzed. In-depth characterization using pharmacokinetics is useful for obtaining information for understanding the molecular basis of pharmacological activity, for correct doses and treatment schemes selection, and for more effective drug application. Thus, an increase in pharmacokinetic research on marine-derived compounds is expected in the near future.

Keywords: aplidine; astaxanthin; dolastatin; echinochrome; echinoside; fucoidan; fucoxanthin; halomon; holothurin; ilimaquinone.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aquatic Organisms / metabolism*
  • Biological Availability
  • Biological Products / administration & dosage
  • Biological Products / isolation & purification
  • Biological Products / pharmacokinetics*
  • Drug Dosage Calculations
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Biological Products