Application of a Dynamic Map for Learning, Communicating, Navigating, and Improving Therapeutic Development

Clin Transl Sci. 2018 Mar;11(2):166-174. doi: 10.1111/cts.12531. Epub 2017 Dec 22.


Drug discovery and development is commonly schematized as a "pipeline," and, although appreciated by drug developers to be a useful oversimplification, this cartology may perpetuate inaccurate notions of straightforwardness and is of minimal utility for process engineering to improve efficiency. To create a more granular schema, a group of drug developers, researchers, patient advocates, and regulators developed a crowdsourced atlas of the steps involved in translating basic discoveries into health interventions, annotated with the steps that are particularly prone to difficulty or failure. This Drug Discovery, Development, and Deployment Map (4DM), provides a network view of the process, which will be useful for communication and education to those new to the field, orientation and navigation of individual projects, and prioritization of technology development and re-engineering endeavors to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The 4DM is freely available for utilization, modification, and further development by stakeholders across the translational ecosystem.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Technology / methods
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Communication
  • Drug Development / methods*
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intersectoral Collaboration*
  • Learning
  • Myositis Ossificans / drug therapy
  • National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, U.S., Health and Medicine Division
  • Neuropeptide Y / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / drug therapy
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use
  • Research Design*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • dorsomorphin