Oct. 31, 2006 Biotech companies traditionally focus on large proteins in their quest to find new drugs. But faced with the complex nature of disease, these companies are increasingly turning to small molecules as well.
This new push into small-molecule drug design, which researchers hope will deliver better and more effective disease treatments, is explored in a report scheduled for the Oct. 30 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, the ACS's weekly newsmagazine.
Associate Editor Lisa M. Jarvis describes how major biotech companies such as Genentech and Amgen have moved into the small-molecule arena and expanded their chemistry operations in the process, including new partnerships with drug discovery firms. These efforts have increasingly brought together chemists from a wide range of disciplines, including medicinal, computational and process chemistry, Jarvis writes.
Biotech's investment in small-molecule research is starting to pay off in the form of new drugs, she notes. A few companies already have commercialized new small-molecule drugs for the treatment of lung cancer and kidney disease, while drugs for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and other diseases are making their way through the pipeline.
By combining small-molecule approaches with protein research, biotech companies are boosting their odds of producing more effective treatments for some of our most challenging diseases, according to the article.
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