Integrated Drug Development Strategies

Drug development stages


  • Target Identification. This is a biological target that the drug manufacturers want to modulate or change in some way to lead to a desired therapeutic effect. Targets are typically identified through genomics (genetic targets), bioinformatics or targets that are expected to impact the symptoms or outcome of a disease without having a direct connection to the underlying pathology.
  • Compounds library design. Compound sets can be designed to focus on a specific protein target or family, a desired therapeutic area, a method of administration or a combination of these. This can be achieved using industry and proprietary software, including structure- and ligand-based virtual design and screening, statistical model, physicochemical property distribution and similarity/substructure searching throughput screening. Similar strategies can be used for antibodies or larger biological therapies.
  • Medicinal chemistry for small molecules. This process includes chemical synthesis and studies to identify the structures that are relevant to the activity.
  • In-vitro preclinical studies. These studies are used mainly to refine lead drug candidate selection through testing in cellular disease models, drug selectivity, specificity, efficacy and optimized drug properties.

Preclinical drug development

  • In vivo animal models (disease models)
  • Investigational New Drug (IND) enabling studies focused on drug safety and drug manufacturing

Clinical Trials

My thoughts on the drug creation pipeline



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Leen Kawas

Leen Kawas

Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology and entrepreneur