Textbook of Drug Design and Discovery is meant to be used primarily in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level courses, where an insight into the complex process of the early drug design and discovery process is central. The chapters in the book are written by experts within their topic of expertise, and it is assumed that readers have a basic knowledge of organic and physical chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmacology.
The textbook covers a broad range of aspects related to the early drug design and discovery process, presented in an up-to-date review form, with an underlying and fundamental focus on the educational aspects. The first part of the book covers general aspects, methods, and principles within drug design and discovery and the second part exemplify important and recent medicinal chemistry developments for a number of specific targets and diseases.
To perform both academic and industrial medicinal chemistry research at the highest level, it is required to attract the attention of bright students, interested in the creative and fascinating nature of drug design. In order to reach this goal, it is of utmost importance to maintain focus on the integration of the scientific disciplines of chemistry and biology. Interesting developments in this regard is the increased interactions between academic and more industrial medicinal chemistry efforts, as seen in a number of public–private partnerships, often involving “big pharma” companies and universities around the world. Regardless of the setting, students should be taught that the conversions of hits into lead structures and further into drug candidates require the integration of a number of related scientific disciplines, such as advanced synthetic chemistry, computational chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, and molecular pharmacology.
Clearly, the early processes of drug design and development are constantly undergoing changes, which call for a regular update of a textbook like this and are reflected in the current edition. This update includes chapters describing the particular challenges and aspects of developing peptide- based drugs, as well as a broader description of protein-based drugs. In addition, a chapter is devoted to the medicinal chemistry considerations in the pharmaceutical industry (Chapter 5), when developing hit compounds into lead compounds and later clinical candidates. These considerations are important for students to learn and understand and highlight putative distinctions between more academic medicinal chemistry endeavors and those ongoing in the pharmaceutical industry.