Mitigating risk in academic preclinical drug discovery

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2015 Apr;14(4):279-94. doi: 10.1038/nrd4578.


The number of academic drug discovery centres has grown considerably in recent years, providing new opportunities to couple the curiosity-driven research culture in academia with rigorous preclinical drug discovery practices used in industry. To fully realize the potential of these opportunities, it is important that academic researchers understand the risks inherent in preclinical drug discovery, and that translational research programmes are effectively organized and supported at an institutional level. In this article, we discuss strategies to mitigate risks in several key aspects of preclinical drug discovery at academic drug discovery centres, including organization, target selection, assay design, medicinal chemistry and preclinical pharmacology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / economics
  • Academic Medical Centers / standards
  • Academic Medical Centers / trends*
  • Animals
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Drug Discovery / economics
  • Drug Discovery / standards
  • Drug Discovery / trends*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Risk
  • Small Molecule Libraries
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / standards
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / trends
  • United States


  • Small Molecule Libraries