An historical overview of drug discovery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Drug Discovery in modern times straddles three main periods. The first notable period can be traced to the nineteenth century where the basis of drug discovery relied on the serendipity of the medicinal chemists. The second period commenced around the early twentieth century when new drug structures were found, which contributed for a new era of antibiotics discovery. Based on these known structures, and with the development of powerful new techniques such as molecular modelling, combinatorial chemistry, and automated high-throughput screening, rapid advances occurred in drug discovery towards the end of the century. The period also was revolutionized by the emergence of recombinant DNA technology, where it became possible to develop potential drugs target candidates. With all the expansion of new technologies and the onset of the "Omics" revolution in the twenty-first century, the third period has kick-started with an increase in biopharmaceutical drugs approved by FDA/EMEA for therapeutic use.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLigand-Macromolecular Interactions in Drug Discovery
EditorsA. Roque
Place of PublicationTotowa, NJ
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-60761-244-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-60761-243-8
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology (Methods and Protocols)
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Drug discovery
  • Proteomics
  • Genomics
  • High-throughput screening
  • Drug target
  • Recombinant proteins


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