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Provided by: Department of Chemistry

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Chemistry: DD1 The Drug Discovery Process


Drug discovery is a complex multidisciplinary process with chemistry as the core discipline. A small molecule New Chemical Entity (NCE) (80% of drugs marketed) has had its genesis in the mind of a chemist. A successful drug is not only biologically active (the easy bit), but is also therapeutically effective in the clinic – it has the correct pharmacokinetics, lack of toxicity, is stable and can be synthesised in bulk, selective and can be patented. Increasingly, it must act at a genetically defined sub-population of patients. Medicinal chemists therefore work at the centre of a web of disciplines – biology, pharmacology, molecular biology, toxicology, materials science, intellectual property and medicine. This fascinating interplay of disciplines is the intellectual space within which a chemist has to make the key compound that will become an effective medicine. It happens rarely, despite enormous investment in time, money and effort. What factors make a program successful? I would like to briefly outline the process, but importantly to offer some key with examples of success

Target audience
  • Chemistry postgraduate students
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available
  • If you are from outside the Department of Chemistry, please wait to be collected from reception
  • One session of one hour
Related courses
Drug Discovery

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