From Concept to Market
In general, there are three phases involved in discovering a new drug and getting it to market. Phase 1 is drug discovery, which involves finding an active compound for a particular target. Phase 2 is drug design, where the properties of that active compound are improved such that it is potent and selective for its target and can also reach that target. Phase 3 involves all the testing procedures and development work that have to be carried out on the drug in order to get it to the market. Organic synthetic chemists are involved in synthesizing radiolabeled drugs for drug metabolism studies, while analytical chemists are involved in quality control, ensuring that the drug satisfies purity specifications. Analytical skills, such as the ability to interpret nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, are important in determining the structure of a lead compound or a synthetic analog.