The Stages of Drug Discovery and Development Process
Drug discovery is a process which aims at identifying a compound therapeutically useful in curing and treating disease. This process involves the identification of candidates, synthesis, characterization, validation, optimization, screening and assays for therapeutic efficacy. Once a compound has shown its significance in these investigations, it will initiate the process of drug development earlier to clinical trials. New drug development process must continue through several stages in order to make a medicine that is safe, effective, and has approved all regulatory requirements. One overall theme of our article is that the process is sufficiently long, complex, and expensive so that many biological targets must be considered for every new medicine ultimately approved for clinical use and new research tools may be needed to investigate each new target. From initial discovery to a marketable medicine is a long, challenging task. It takes about 12 - 15 years from discovery to the approved medicine and requires an investment of about US $1 billion. On an average, a million molecules screened but only a single is explored in late stage clinical trials and is finally made obtainable for patients. This article provides a brief outline of the processes of new drug discovery and development.
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