In the past decade, it was observed that the relationship between the emerging New Molecular Entities and the quantum of R&D investment has not been favorable. There might be numerous reasons but few studies stress the introduction of target based drug discovery approach as one of the factors. Although a number of drugs have been developed with an emphasis on a single protein target, yet identification of valid target is complex. The approach focuses on an in vitro single target, which overlooks the complexity of cell and makes process of validation drug targets uncertain. Thus, it is imperative to search for alternatives rather than looking at success stories of target-based drug discovery. It would be beneficial if the drugs were developed to target multiple components. New approaches like reverse engineering and translational research need to take into account both system and target-based approach. This review evaluates the strengths and limitations of known drug discovery approaches and proposes alternative approaches for increasing efficiency against treatment.
Keywords: drug design; drug discovery; drug targets; molecular imaging; repositioning.