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Pure Appl. Chem. Vol.
74, No. 5, pp. 703-785 (2002)
Pure and Applied Chemistry
Vol. 74, Issue 5
Medicinal chemistry in the new millennium. A glance into the future
a (Special Topic Article)
Paul W. Erhardt*
Center for Drug Design and Development, The University
of Toledo College of Pharmacy, 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, OH
Abstract: The future of medicinal chemistry as both a pure and
an applied science has been considered relative to trends that are already
having a significant impact upon drug discovery and development. After
quickly reviewing how medicinal chemistry has been practiced to date,
topics considered into the future include: pursuing therapeutic efficacy,
addressing 3D structure within database settings, assuring absorption,
directing distribution, controlling metabolism, optimizing elimination,
and avoiding toxicity. It is suggested that as the exploration of these
topics proceeds into the new millennium by deploying combinatorial chemistry
coupled to high-throughput screening, medicinal chemistry will play
a key role as a central interpreter of the underlying structureactivity
relationships such that the overall process of drug discovery and development
will be knowledge-generating. As fundamental knowledge accumulates across
all of these areas, virtual approaches will eventually become firmly
anchored to experimental and theoretical databases having validated
clinical predictability. The potential impact of some of the recent
trends in process chemistry, and in analytical chemistry using X-ray
diffraction as an exemplary method, are additionally highlighted before
reiterating the article's major points in a summary section. From this
purview, the summary also considers the education of future medicinal
chemists, notes potential issues related to the future of pharmaceutical-related
intellectual property, and concludes by alluding to a brewing paradox
between enhanced knowledge and enhanced molecular diversity relative
to the future discovery of new drugs.
Submitted June, 2001 in recognition of the new millennium.
*Author contact information: Tel: +1 (419) 530-2167; Fax: +1 (419) 530-1994;
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