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European Biopharmaceutical Review

New Chemo-Genomic Era

In recent years, biology has taken centre stage in the drug discovery effort, as genomic mapping has spawned a wealth of information about the structure of the human body. As many as 25,000 novel molecular targets with pharmaceutical potential may emerge from this process. But the drug discovery industry will not be able to realise this potential without the help of another, increasingly crucial, branch of science. Chemistry is the key to this post-genomic future - the link between biological targets and drug development. In growing numbers, chemists and chemical innovation will be required throughout the industry to relieve the bottleneck created by the need to effectively screen these new targets against a vast array of compounds. Cheminformatics also plays an essential part in this process as the way to manage and use chemical information and streamline the discovery process. Together, these factors are rapidly leading to a resurging interest in or 'renaissance' of chemistry - and the emergence of a newly recognised 'chemo-genomic' era.As this era unfolds, it is clear that companies engaged in drug discovery must consider more efficient ways to structure their research operations - balancing the interests of science with the strong and sometimes competing requirements of business - if they want to succeed in the global marketplace. In some cases, that may mean a shift away from the traditional 'think-tank' approach used at many drug discovery institutions. Instead, it may be time to re-engineer drug discovery, taking a more systematised approach to problem-solving.


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By Candace O'Connor, a Freelance Medical Journalist
Candace O'Connor is a Freelance Journalist based in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Cornell University and gained a Master's Degree from the University of Rochester. As a Journalist working for the Gannett newspaper group, she began writing about medical issues and has been doing so ever since. Today she covers a range of medical topics, including the latest clinical trials and surgical procedures.

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