Synthesis and biological evaluation of ( − )-13,14-dihydroxy-8,11,13-podocarpatrien-7-one and derivatives from (+)-manool

13,14-Dihydroxy-8,11,13-podocarpatrien-7-one (1) and a series of ring C aromatic diterpene derivatives were synthesised from (+)-manool (4) and evaluated for their cytotoxic, leishmanicidal and trypanocidal activities. Our results indicated that compound 1 and other podocarpane-type intermediates are cytotoxic. Cleavage of C6–C7 bond of compound 7 improved cytotoxic activity, indicating that, in particular, the 6,7-seco-podocarpane-type compound 20 might serve as a lead compound for further development.