Drug Discovery Strategies and Methods

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Alexandros Makriyannis & Diane Biegel – Drug Discovery Strategies & Methods
Marcel Dekker, Inc|2004| PDF|338 pages| 4.57 MB

[column]Drug research encompasses diverse branches of science united by a common goal, namely, developing novel therapeutic agents and understanding their molecular mechanisms of action. This process is a lengthy, exacting, and expensive undertaking that involves integration of data from different fields and culminates in the final product—a new drug in the marketplace. In the past decade, progress in drug research has flourished because of major contributions from a variety of disciplines.

The material presented in this volume focuses on a number of research topics that have provided critical information in the field of drug discovery. Several chapters present techniques that extend our understanding of the three-dimensional structure of macromolecules, principally proteins, but also nucleic acid polymers and organized lipid and carbohydrate assemblies.[/column] As greater structural data on the these molecules become available, information can be obtained on their interactions with small endogenous ligand drug molecules as well as on the interactions between two or more of these biopolymers. Such knowledge enhances our overall understanding of the biochemical systems of interest and their relevance for therapeutic discovery. In addition to the basic knowledge gained by such research, the data provide a solid basis for the development of novel drugs with greater potencies, higher specificities of action, and reduced side effects.

 Another area of research covered in this book is the in vivo anatomical localization of potential therapeutics using PET and SPECT analysis (Chapter 5). These techniques allow researchers to pinpoint the localization of high-affinity ligands in the living organism with high accuracy, thus giving researchers a window on the functions of the brain and other organs and on the sites of action of potential therapeutic agents. Such studies will provide a blueprint for the design of pharmacological[end_columns]

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