Lead Discovery

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Lead Discovery

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

Lead Discovery 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 scientific experimental method, especially for drug discovery involving the biological and chemical fields. By using robotic technology, data processing/control software, liquid handling devices and sensitive detectors, high-throughput screening enable to rapidly carry out millions of chemical, genetic or pharmacological tests.

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.

Why choose BOC Sciences?

BOC Sciences has a team of interdisciplinary scientists to provide customers with the highest standard lead discovery services. With our robust compounds libraries and advanced screening techniques, we are able to perform such process in an efficient and fast turnaround way. By conducting the screening process, our experts will help you to identify the compounds with sufficient activity for next investigation. In addition, several standard tests of the active compounds, including the tests for complexity and expected pharmacokinetic behavior, will be further performed to ensure the quality and potency.

Reference

  1. Hughes, J. P., Rees, S., Kalindjian, S. B., & Philpott, K. L. (2011). Principles of early drug discovery. British journal of pharmacology162(6), 1239-1249.
  2. Jorgensen, W. L. (2009). Efficient drug lead discovery and optimization. Accounts of chemical research42(6), 724-733.
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