Genetics

Gene regulation linked to energy production

Researchers at The University of Western Australia, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and Curtin University have made a fundamental discovery about of the regulation of genes in mitochondria, providing a new insight ...

Ophthalmology

New cell models for ocular drug discovery

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have developed two new cell models that can open up new avenues for ocular drug discovery. The new cell models are continuously growing retinal pigment epithelial cells, which ...

Medications

Scientists suggest new solution to the rare-disease problem

Thousands of rare diseases cumulatively affect millions of people across the globe, yet because each case is so rare doctors struggle to accurately diagnose and effectively treat individual patients. Every time a patient ...

Oncology & Cancer

Discovery: New biomarker for cancer stem cells

In the world of cancer biology, not all biomarkers are created equal. These molecules that alert doctors that an abnormal process may be underway can appear as an array of aberrant proteins, such as hormones, enzymes or signaling ...

Medications

Estuarine waters hold promise in global pain-relief hunt

The worldwide search for an opioid alternative has made a leap forward—with a scientific discovery in an Australian fungus indicating effective pain relief and the potential for a safer less addictive drug, helping address ...

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Drug discovery

In the fields of medicine, biotechnology and pharmacology, drug discovery is the process by which drugs are discovered and/or designed.

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.

The process of drug discovery involves the identification of candidates, synthesis, characterization, screening, and assays for therapeutic efficacy. Once a compound has shown its value in these tests, it will begin the process of drug development prior to clinical trials.

Despite advances in technology and understanding of biological systems, drug discovery is still a lengthy, "expensive, difficult, and inefficient process" with low rate of new therapeutic discovery. Information on the human genome, its sequence and what it encodes has been hailed as a potential windfall for drug discovery, promising to virtually eliminate the bottleneck in therapeutic targets that has been one limiting factor on the rate of therapeutic discovery.[citation needed] However, data indicates that "new targets" as opposed to "established targets" are more prone to drug discovery project failure in general[citation needed] This data corroborates some thinking underlying a pharmaceutical industry trend beginning at the turn of the twenty-first century and continuing today which finds more risk aversion in target selection among multi-national pharmaceutical companies.[citation needed]

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