Ouroborus (or uroborus etc) is the symbol of a serpent eating its own tail. The symbol is found in many ancient cultures – including Egyptian, Hindu, Norse and Celtic - representing the cycle of life, eternal recurrence, or infinity. The above image is from the tomb of Tutankhamun c.1300 BCE.
In the field of organic chemistry the symbol is significant in the discovery of the structure of the key hydrocarbon benzene. German chemist August Kekulé, working on the puzzle, saw a vision of Ouroboros and realised the cyclic structure.
Cyclisation is an important element in natural chemical structure and in drug design.
At Oroborus we use cyclisation to produce both helix mimetics and in the novel core of other drug programs.
The above image is from 1478 taken from a book on alchemistry - the "science" of making gold from lead. At the time this was thought possible by chemistry. We now know it can be done - but with physics and unfortunately leaving the gold rather radioactive!
An illustration of some drugs containing large and small cyclisations. The three larger molecules are immunosuppressive drugs, whilst wortmannin is a failed experimental cancer drug (kinase inhibitor). Cyclosporin is important as it demonstrates that some medium-sized peptide based molecules can be oral drugs.