Contemporary approaches to drug discovery

Over the last few years the increasing trend has been for a given drug discovery project to be aimed at a particular molecular target (e.g. a specific oncogene product), with which pharmacological intervention might deliver a particular desired biological or phenotypic effect (e.g. inhibition of proliferation, cell cycle progression, motility, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis; or the induction of apoptosis or differentiation) rather than a more general cytotoxic or cytostatic effect.

This new molecular target orientated approach is now dominant in the pharmaceutical industry and in biotechnology companies. Contemporary mechanism-based drug discovery can be divided into the following several phases.

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