Biochemical mechanisms of drug action: what does it take for success?

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2004 Sep;3(9):801-8. doi: 10.1038/nrd1500.


Drug discovery is extremely difficult. There are many unanticipated scientific, medical and business challenges to every drug discovery programme. It is important to increase our understanding of the fundamental properties of effective drugs so that we can anticipate potential problems in developing new agents. This article addresses potential drug discovery and development risks associated with the biochemical mechanism of drug action, and proposes simple rules to minimize these risks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive / drug effects
  • Biochemical Phenomena
  • Biochemistry*
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Therapy
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Pharmacology / trends*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors