Synopsis

• Preclinical drug development. Discovery of new drugs in the laboratory is an exercise in prediction

• Techniques of discovery. Sophisticated molecular modelling allows precise design of potential new therapeutic substances and new technologies have increased the rate of development of potential medicines.

• Studies in animals and in humans

• Prediction. Failures of prediction occur and a drug may be abandoned at any stage, including after marketing. New drug development is a colossally expensive and commercially driven activity.

■ Orphan drugs and diseases.

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