Disciplined approach to drug discovery and early development

Sci Transl Med. 2016 Jul 27;8(349):349ps15. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf2608.


Our modern health care system demands therapeutic interventions that improve the lives of patients. Unfortunately, decreased productivity in therapeutics research and development (R&D) has driven drug costs up while delivering insufficient value to patients. Here, I discuss a model of translational medicine that connects four components of the early R&D pipeline-causal human biology, therapeutic modality, biomarkers of target modulation, and proof-of-concept clinical trials. Whereas the individual components of this model are not new, technological advances and a disciplined approach to integrating all four areas offer hope for improving R&D productivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Design
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical