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Drug Discovery: Target Identification and Validation

For many years, pharmaceutical research companies have developed new drugs using a standard drug discovery process. The process usually begins with extensive medical research about a particular disease, which provides researchers with a better understanding of the disease and how it affects the body. The next step of the drug discovery process typically involves target identification and target validation.

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Drug Discovery: Target Identification and Validation

  1. 1.  For many years, pharmaceutical research companies have developed new drugs using a standard drug discovery process. The process usually begins with extensive medical research about a particular disease, which provides researchers with a better understanding of the disease and how it affects the body. The next step of the drug discovery process typically involves target identification and target validation.
  2. 2.  In general, drugs fight disease by targeting a specific molecule or set of highly similar molecules within the body. Researchers begin by identifying a molecule that plays a role in the disease they are attempting to treat. Often a protein or a gene, the target molecule must be able to interact with and be affected by drug molecules. Once researchers identify a target molecule, they must prove that it actually causes the disease and can be affected by drugs. In order to accomplish this, scientists conduct a broad range of experiments with living cells and animal models.

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