Drug Discovery



Historically, many pharmaceutical agents were naturally occurring chemical substances, and discovery of their medicinally beneficial properties was serendipitous rather than deliberate. In the last several decades, research scientists have evaluated many molecules in a systematic manner and discovered drug molecules with interesting pharmacological characteristics. It was quite possible that hundreds (if not thousands) of potential drug candidate molecules would be made and tested for pharmacodynamic action in what was a very laborious process. Natural products and synthetic organic products, both of which are small molecules, were the typical drugs brought to market. The development of cholesterol-lowering drugs illustrates this research and development (R&D) model. The plasma cholesterol-lowering drug mevastatin is a drug derived from natural products. It is a fungal metabolite and one of the “statins” that lowers cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme human growth hormone coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase.


Drug Molecule Human Insulin Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Insulin Aspart Insulin Lispro 
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Further Readings

  1. Beal JM Jr, Block JH, 2010, Wilson and Gisvold’s Textbook of Organic Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, 12th Edition. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  2. Ekins S, Xu JJ, 2009, Drug Efficacy, Safety, and Biologics Discovery: Emerging Technologies and Tools. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Faller B, Urban L (Eds), 2010, Hit and Lead Profiling: Identification and Optimization of Drug-like Molecules. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH.Google Scholar
  4. Han C, Davis CB, Wang B (Eds), 2010, Evaluation of Drug Candidates for Preclinical Development: Pharmacokinetics, Metabolism, Pharmaceutics, and Toxicology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  5. Watson JD, 2004. DNA: The Secret of life. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiac Safety Services QuintilesDurhamUSA

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