Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

Medicinal chemistry is a discipline at the overtone of chemistry, particularly synthetic organic chemistry, and pharmacology and various other biological specialties, where they are involved with design, chemical synthesis and development for market of pharmaceutical agents. Earlier, medicinal chemists often optimized and developed compounds without much knowledge of the drug target or pathway in mind. New skills have had an enormous impact on drug discovery since the mid-20th century. Once hits are identified from high throughput screening (or other sources) the chemists may become involved in hit to lead (h2l) studies when hits from screens are effectively triaged and closely scrutinized for ability to serve as full blown lead compounds. Medicinal chemistry has, therefore, grown to encompass a greater range of scientific disciplines in the drug discovery process in order to minimize the cost, time and risk of development. The arrival of newer high powered computational capabilities was one catalyst for this approach. to succeed in the discovery process medicinal chemists have to perform these initial important tasks: identification of lead molecules which have the desired biological activity using new technologies such as hits and combinatorial chemistry, the lead modification or optimization which could be done by employing structure-activity analysis and scale-up of the optimized lead for further drug development process and efficacy testing.


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