The drug industry is one of the major players guiding the development of the medicines, biotechnology & pharmacology field. Drug discovery is the process by which drugs are discovered and designed. It is a process which aims at identifying a compound therapeutically useful in curing & treating disease. The process of drug discovery involves the identification of candidates, synthesis, characterization, screening & assays for therapeutic efficacy. Once a compound has shown its value in these tests, it will begin the process of drug development prior to clinical trials. Developing a new drug is a tedious & expensive undertaking, despite promising discoveries and multibillion dollar investments for new drug development is quietly undergoing crisis. Currently, all existing therapies together hit only about 400 different drug targets. It is estimated that there are at least 10 times as many potential drug targets that could be exploited for future drug therapy.
Drug discovery is a process, which aims at identifying a compound therapeutically useful in treating and curing a disease. Typically a drug discovery effort addresses a biological target that has been shown to play a role in the development of the disease or starts from a molecule with interesting biological activities. The process of drug discovery involves the identification of candidates, synthesis, characterization, screening, and assays for therapeutic efficacy. Once a compound has shown its value in these tests, it will begin the process of drug development prior to clinical trials. Drug discovery and development is an expensive process due to the high costs of R&D and human clinical tests. The average total cost per drug development varies from US$ 897 million to US$ 1.9 billion. The typical development time is 10-15 years. The developing world suffers the major burden of infectious disease, yet the range of drugs available for the treatment of many infectious diseases is limited. In the past most drugs have been discovered either by identifying the active ingredient from traditional remedies or by serendipitous discovery. At present a new approach is being tried to understand how disease and infection are controlled at the molecular and physiological level and to target specific entities based on this knowledge.
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