The “Century of Biology” and the Evolving Role of Medicinal Chemists in Neuroscience
Society expects that the wave of contemporary new discoveries in biological sciences will soon lead to novel treatments for human diseases, including many devastating brain disorders. Historically, medicinal chemists have contributed to drug discovery teams in ways that synergize with those from their partner sciences, and help transform new knowledge into the ultimate tangible asset: a new drug. The optimal balance of resources and the right strategy to minimize the risk of late clinical failure may differ for different therapeutic indications. Recent progress in the oncology and neuroscience therapeutic areas is compared and contrasted, in particular looking at the biological target space and functional attributes of recently FDA-approved drugs and those in the late clinical pipeline. Medicinal chemists are poised to have major influence in neuroscience drug research, and examples of areas of potential impact are presented, together with a discussion of the soft skills they bring to their project teams and why they have been so impactful. Graphic Abstract
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