Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Drug discovery: forward or reverse pharmacology?

Drug discovery is a very complex process which entails discovering new agents for the treatment or prevention of diseases and disorders. Despite the high level of advances in the understanding of the human body, from basic human physiology to the smallest level of the human genome, a potential agent still takes an upward of 15 years from pre-clinical study in the lab to the patient lying in a hospital. Only in understanding the various strategies that have been implemented for the development of clinically successful agents can one find the best approach for effective drug discovery. Recently, new terms have been coined to describe two approaches to the
study of the interaction between organisms and chemical molecules used to alter the biochemical function of molecular targets: forward and reverse pharmacology.

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