Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics in drug discovery

Curr Opin Drug Discov Devel. 2003 Jan;6(1):66-80.


The discovery and development of new drugs seems to be an inefficient process, since too few new chemical entities (NCEs) successfully make it to the market. Because one of the main reasons for failure in development is thought to be poor pharmacokinetics (PK), drug metabolism and PK (DMPK) have assumed a central role within the field of drug discovery. A good development candidate requires a balance of potency, safety and PK; therefore, techniques that can help understand these characteristics are employed to enable researchers to design more robust candidates. A number of new in silico, in vitro and in vivo techniques are available to screen compounds for key absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) characteristics, which, when applied within a rational strategy, can make a major contribution to the design and selection of successful NCEs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Computer Simulation
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pharmacokinetics*
  • Pharmacology / methods*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System