The discovery and development of a new drug product, from original research to a completed product, is a lengthy, complex and expensive process. It can take between 12-15 years and upwards of $1 billion to bring one new therapy to market.
The process begins with target identification – establishing which biological target to focus on for the delivery of a new drug. Potential drug candidates – either a small molecule or biologic with therapeutic potential – are identified next during lead discovery, where a number of drug candidates are developed. These lead molecules must reach the drug target and display the desired activity. Here, high-throughput screening (HTS) is typically used to identify promising candidates for a lead (hit-to-lead). The aim of the hit-to-lead process is to produce more potent and selective compounds, which then undergo lead optimisation to maintain the favourable properties in the lead compound to produce a safe and efficacious drug.
Bruker’s advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry technologies enables drug discovery researchers to rapidly identify suitable drug candidates out of a screen of thousands, to determine which targets to progress through validation and optimisation to development. The drug discovery process is time sensitive, so high throughput fast instrumentation is critical to successful drug production.