Lead Discovery

Lead Discovery

BOC Sciences is committed to providing lead discovery services to clients around the world and creating value for their drug research and development projects. Our R & D team has extensive experience in pharmacology and drug discovery. Our innovative technology can find new developmental candidate for you in large-scale screening. Our goal is to assist our clients in finding the best lead compounds to optimize the pharmaceutical assembly line.

Pharmaceutical development is an extremely complex process that involves the discovery of innovative active ingredients and launch of a finished product. The whole process can take more than ten years and the cost is always enormous. The initial lead compounds discovery step plays a pivotal role in determining whether a drug can be successfully developed. Once a target, an enzyme or a receptor, has been chosen, a range of corresponding activity will be conducted to identify molecules which possess suitable characteristics to make the drug. Compounds that meet the selection criteria can be used as leads for further optimization of activity, selectivity and biological behavior. The whole process is collectively referred to as lead discovery.

Drug discovery process from target ID and validation through to filing of a compound and the approximate timescale for these processes. Figure 1. Drug discovery process from target ID and validation through to filing of a compound and the approximate timescale for these processes. FDA, Food and Drug Administration; IND, Investigational New Drug; NDA, New Drug Application1.

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High-throughput screening is a method for drug discovery involving biological and chemical fields. Using robotics, data processing/control software, liquid handling devices and sensitive detectors, high-throughput screening enables rapidly carrying out millions of chemical, genetic or pharmacological tests.

High-content screening (HCS) is a technology used in biological research and drug discovery that combines automated microscopy, image analysis, and data visualization to study large numbers of cells or other biological samples simultaneously.

Target validation is the first and crucial step in new drug discovery. Target validation can be chemical or genetic, respectively, through chemical substances to regulate target proteins or through genetic technology, to achieve the ultimate therapeutic effect. Target validation in the early stages of new drug discovery provides support for identifying and validating the relevance of known or novel targets to specific diseases, thereby increasing the success rate of clinical trials. Candidate targets that pass validation experiments then enter the hit identification phase of the project.

The entry point of chemical procedures in drug development research is usually to identify high activity specific molecules in appropriate target assay. This initial hit can be produced in many ways. Therefore, it is important to employ alternative hit-identification strategies that are able to tackle a variety of biological macromolecular targets and to identify pharmacologically relevant compounds.

Hit to lead, also called lead generation, is the prerequisite of the construction of new drug’s molecular structure, and is the key step of new drug development. The purpose of this stage is to obtain each hit series and to produce more effective and selective compounds with pharmacokinetic properties. This stage evaluates and undergoes limited optimization to identify promising lead compounds, and then synthesizing the analogs.

Lead optimization is a diversified operation in drug discovery. It improves the target’s study of specificity, selectivity, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology by altering the chemical structure of compounds or biological products to produce the preclinical drug candidates. In order to understand the necessity of lead optimization, it is important to determine the basic characteristics of lead, including potency, bioavailability, duration, safety and drug acceptability.

Chemical resynthesis is critical in drug discovery. With the development of a series of effective synthetic drug agents, knowledge about molecular modifications evolves, which is likely to lead to biologically active molecules. One of the most important sources of new drugs in modern science comes from the efforts of chemical resynthesis.

Structure-based drug discovery refers to drug development based on protein structure. Starting from the known structure of the target protein, based on molecular recognition, with the help of relevant calculation methods, the structure-activity relationship of the compound can be quickly established, and new hit compounds can be discovered. Through structure-based drug discovery and fragment-based drug discovery as supplements, we provide customers with an efficient and rapid technology platform for drug development.

A good lead compound needs to be satisfied


Why choose BOC Sciences?

BOC Sciences's team of interdisciplinary scientists can provide customers with the highest standard lead discovery services, which is efficient with our robust compound libraries and advanced screening techniques. By conducting the screening process, our experts will help you identify the compounds with sufficient activity. In addition, several standard tests of the active compounds, including that for complexity and expected pharmacokinetic behavior, will be further performed to ensure quality and potency.


  1. Hughes, J. P., Rees, S., Kalindjian, S. B., & Philpott, K. L. (2011). Principles of early drug discovery. British journal of pharmacology, 162(6), 1239-1249.
  2. Jorgensen, W. L. (2009). Efficient drug lead discovery and optimization. Accounts of chemical research, 42(6), 724-733.

If you have questions about our services at any time, just give us a call or send us an email at . We will do all we can to meet your needs.

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