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Technological Advances in Targeted Drug Discovery

For most pharmaceutical companies drug discovery is the starting point for innovation, market-leadership and profits. However, with the increasing number of chemical compounds being identified, drug discovery processes are becoming slower, more expensive and extremely slow causing new drug releases to almost come to a stand still.

Present day drug discovery frequently involves screening hundreds of thousands of compounds for biological activity against a 'target' molecule. These compounds or New Chemical Entities (NCEs) are thought to have properties useful for drug development but information on their properties, safety, toxicity, pharmacokinetics and metabolism in humans need, chemical makeup, stability and solubility need to be assessed first before the compound can be moved into the drug development pipeline for further testing, clinical trials and ultimately for NDA submission (New Drug Approval) to concerned regulatory bodies for marketing approval.

Challenges in the Drug Discovery Process

As patents on many older drugs are nearing expiry, pharmaceutical companies need to shift focus immediately to new drug discoveries. Large pharmaceutical manufacturers need to 'fuel their drug development pipelines' before their patents expire.

There is however, another angle to the slowing down of new drug discoveries. Many compounds are showing potential to be developed as drugs. With this increase in the numbers and complexity of 'compound libraries', new drug development processes are slowing down and becoming more time-consuming and expensive.

Drug Discovery Technology

Current drug discovery technologies have to meet two challenges.

  • The need for systematic capture, collation and integration of complex and disconnected data sets generated from widely varying sources. Thus large volumes of disconnected information on molecular structures, assay tests, disease states and targets, laboratory notes and compounds have to be streamlined, studied, analyzed and cohesive results drawn. Current technology developments in drug discovery are focusing on this aspect of drug discovery processes.
  • The need to enable real-time collaboration and team work among researchers worldwide. Early drug research followed a linear pattern with researchers involved in isolated and individual efforts. However, today Pharmaceutical companies and research labs are developing a more 'holistic' drug discovery practice with a focus on more collaborative and cross-team work. This calls for drug discovery systems and software that can open lines of communication among researchers through the world.

Some key drug development technology requirements are:

  • Effective HTS and UHTS solutions
  • HTS screening assays
  • ADME and toxicology assays
  • Systems for automating repetitive laboratory procedures
  • Bioinformatics tools to help process large data volumes
  • Research collaboration tools

Trends in Drug Development Technology

Software vendors are rising to the challenges from the pharmaceutical industry. Leading software vendors are developing sophisticated data management tools and research systems that do all this and much more. Highly automated detection and processing instruments are now available that can screen large numbers of compounds in a short period of time with little intervention from users. Software for drug discovery focuses on better tools of analysis and faster methods to handle growing volumes of research data.

Drug Discovery Technology and Software: Benefits

  • Faster drug discovery processes
  • Increase in volume of chemical entities that enter drug development processes
  • Comprehensive view of internal and external research data
  • Easier target identification
  • Superior collaborative tools for research
  • Rapid identification of targets and compounds
  • More efficient information sharing
  • Reduction in time and costs of drug discovery
  • Improved ROI
  • Software with state of the art visualization and computation capabilities
  • Avoiding loss of research data
  • More efficient in-silico filtering
  • Better integration of multi-disciplines of discovery research

Drug Discovery Solutions from O2I

Outsource2india provides leading pharmaceutical companies with cutting-edge tools that enhance their workflows and help towards better integration and analysis of R& D data. Our custom applications allow companies to streamline their drug discovery processes, innovate and stay ahead of competition.

Read more about outsourcing content management systems to O2I.

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