Drug Candidate

What is a drug candidate?

A drug candidate is a molecule that has shown potential to become a therapeutic drug for treating a particular disease or medical condition, whether because it has sufficient target selectivity, medicine-like properties, or adequate potency.

Once a potential drug candidate is identified, it undergoes rigorous preclinical testing to assess its safety, efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics. This preclinical phase involves testing the drug candidate in laboratory and animal models to gather data on its effects and potential risks.

If a drug candidate passes preclinical testing successfully, it may proceed to clinical trials, which involve testing the drug in human subjects to further evaluate its safety and efficacy. Ultimately, if it demonstrates sufficient safety and efficacy in clinical trials, it may receive regulatory approval for marketing and use as a therapeutic drug.

Why is a drug candidate important for healthcare?

Drug candidates are crucial for healthcare because they represent the potential for entirely new treatments or improvements of existing ones. They can address unmet needs and offer hope for diseases or conditions with no effective treatment options currently available. New drugs can also address limitations of existing medications, such as offering fewer side effects, increased efficacy, or targeting specific patient populations.

However, only a small percentage of drug candidates make it through the rigorous testing and approval process to become commercially available medications. While the journey from candidate to approved medication is challenging, their potential to improve patient outcomes and advance medical knowledge makes them a vital part of healthcare progress.