BY OUR PLATFORMS
BY THERAPEUTIC AREA
28 August 2019
In medicine, biotechnology, and pharmacology, drug discovery is the process by which drugs are discovered and/or designed.
The process of drug discovery involves the identification of candidates, synthesis, characterization, screening, and assays for therapeutic efficacy.
In the past, most drugs have been discovered either by identifying the active ingredient from traditional remedies or by serendipitous discovery. A new approach has been to understand how disease and infection are controlled at the molecular and physiological level and to target specific entities based on this knowledge.
Modern drug discovery involves the identification of screening hits, medicinal chemistry, and optimization of those hits to increase the affinity, selectivity, efficacy/potency, metabolic stability, and oral bioavailability. Once a compound that fulfills all of these requirements has been identified, the process of drug development can continue in a regulatory approach, and if successful, clinical trials could start.
Developing a new drug from the original idea to the launch of a finished product is a complex process that can take 12–15 years, and the total cost of investment will be very high. The idea for a target can come from a variety of sources, including academic and clinical research and from the commercial sector. It may take many years to build up supporting evidence before selecting a target for a costly drug discovery program.
A drug discovery program initiates because there is a disease or clinical condition without suitable medical products available, and it is this unmet clinical need, which is the underlying driving motivation for the project. The initial research, often occurring in academia, generates data to develop a hypothesis that the inhibition or activation of a protein or pathway will result in a therapeutic effect in a disease state. Pharmaceuticals are produced as a result of these activities, carried out by a complex array of public and private organizations that are engaged in the development and manufacture of drugs.
ZeClinics is a Contract Research Organization (CRO) and early-phase biopharmaceutical company (PHARMA), using zebrafish for drug discovery and biomedical research. Contact us for more information.