Drug discovery

Drug discovery

The process by which new candidate medications are discovered

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Dawson Sewell
Dawson Sewell edited on 8 Oct, 2020
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Overview of the drug discovery process

Identification of an unmet medical need

The drug discovery process begins with the identification of unmet medical needs through market analysis and input from patients, medical practitioners, therapeutic researchers, scientific conferences. The medical need must have a level of unsatisfactory treatment options to justify initiating the drug discovery process, or the potential of a novel drug may offer substantial advantages compared to existing treatments such as improved therapeutic efficiency, less adverse side-effects, better patient compliance, fewer drug interactions, and improvements in the overall patient quality of life.

After an unmet medical need is established the drug discovery process moves onto identifying potential drug targets to solve the unmet medical need through techniques such as phenotypic screening, genetic association, transgenic organisms, and medical imaging. Identifying unmet medical needs is an ongoing process of understanding available therapeutic treatment options, disease etiology, and epidemiology. This constant identification process produces an always changing analysis gap of the perceived value and potential of potential drug candidates leading to certain drug candidates taking priority over others to better address particular medical needs.

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