The process of drug discovery involves combining of a number of disciplines and interests. It mainly consists of a simple process of recognizing an active compound in the test tube. The detection of an original chemical entity that modulates few aspect of cell or tissue function is the first step in the drug development process.
The compound has to be discriminatory and efficient which should be somewhat free of noxiousness, it should be bioavailable, and marketable before it can be considered to be a therapeutic and beneficial entity.
Generally, most of the pharmaceutical companies are always seeking for new medicinal compounds which would be harmless and effective medicines that could possibly:
- Acts as preventive medicine.
- Slow down the progress of a disease
- Helps in relieving symptoms
- Cure spiking or fatal conditions.
A list of feasible medical compounds is prepared by using techniques such as quantifiable structure-activity relationship. From the list of possible medicines, the target compound is separated through the process of elimination.
There are number of factors playing a crucial role in persuading the discovery and development of new medicines. Below listed few factors.
- Government policies favouring the growth of new life saving drugs.
- Escalation in scientific understanding of human biology and anatomy such as new discoveries in gene therapy, stem cell research, new vaccines that may empower the scientists to understand how a disease is caused and what could be the processes in the body responsible for it.
- Sufficient funding for research.
- World-wide effort for the removal of explicit condition such as malaria, dengue, etc.
- A thorough research for a cheaper substitute to existing medicines that are presently available in the market.
- Discovery of more than one use for a particular drug. For example, Minoxidil was originally used to treat high blood pressure but later it is found that the same drug can also increase hair growth as well.
- Innovation of a new chemical entity
Scientists begin by aiming a known step in the evolution of a disease or working out the purposeful causes of a disease. Later on they could determine the steps which can be improved or reformulated to prevent the disease from expressing itself.
The new favourable drug may constrain the production of particular chemical, restrict with the way certain cells interrelate or in another case it may activates or inactivates a target gene.
Target can be identified from:
- A series of chemical compounds belonging to the same family.
- Extemporizing on an existing molecule.
- By making a molecular combination of different trusted medicines.
- A target compound would have to be partitioned from a list of minimum 1000 compounds to get approximately 30 worthwhile compounds.
The drug is tested to see whether:
- It is constant in different environment and atmosphere.
- Have lesser opposing effects
- Doesn’t change metabolic processes too much.
- Reaches the site of action effectually.
- Do immediate site action instead of acting extensively on other sites in the body.
As we can see that there are number of factors influencing drug discovery and manufacturing. One more important factor is monetary gain which cannot be neglected. The drug manufactured should be a plus point in business also. Therefore, on a whole we can say a drug manufacturing company must strive to find a unique molecule which should be patented and provide better results on large scale manufacturing.