Metabolite identification and profiling in drug design: current practice and future directions

Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(19):2220-35. doi: 10.2174/138161209788682460.


Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) represents a critical component in support of drug discovery and development. This is because the therapeutic efficacy of a drug is dependent on its exposure which in turn is dictated in part by metabolic stability of the molecule. In addition, drug metabolism may lead to the formation of metabolites that can either be pharmacologically active or elicit adverse effect. On this basis, metabolite identification and profiling have become a routine exercise during lead optimization and subsequent development processes. The current communication provides an overview on the account of metabolite identification and profiling in support of drug design with an additional emphasis on the commonly used analytical techniques. The discussion is supported by case studies. Future directions are discussed in the context of newer platforms of technology and bioanalytical approaches enabling better operation efficiency in pharmaceutical research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / methods
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Industry / methods
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / methods*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations