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Drug Discovery

What is drug discovery?

Drug discovery is the process of identifying new drugs. Once identified, drugs undergo a rigorous testing process involving preclinical studies and clinical trials.

Drugs can be discovered through:

  • Testing of molecular compounds to find possible beneficial effects against a disease
  • New insights into a disease process that allows researchers to design a product to reverse or stop the disease’s effects
  • New technologies, such as any that provide a new way to target medical products or manipulate genetic material
  • Existing treatments that have unanticipated effects

At this stage in the drug development process, thousands of compounds may show potential for development. Early testing, however, will narrow the possible candidates to a smaller number that can proceed with further study.

Why is drug discovery important?

Drug discovery is the crucial first step in bringing new drugs to the market for public use. It is completed to address prior gaps in healthcare or to take advantage of new information or devices available. Without drug discovery, biopharmaceutical developers would be unable to create new drugs.