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CH30209: Blockbuster drugs

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Further information on credits Credits: 3
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 20%, EX 80%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 20%)
  • Examination (EX 80%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take CH10191 and take CH10192 and in taking this unit you cannot take CH40209
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
A number of major blockbuster drugs that are currently on the market will be discussed, gaining knowledge on how they were discovered, the problems that were faced in bringing them to market and the reasons why they are so successful.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to understand:
* How different types of drugs that target different therapeutic areas were discovered and the combination of factors that combined to make them market leaders;
* Why major pharmaceutical companies target certain therapeutic areas, and the opportunities available to small biopharma companies/academia for the development of novel treatments for less profitable/rarer diseases;
* Appreciate the range of emerging techniques, scientific breakthroughs and economic factors that define the future of drug discovery;
* Understand how financial, legal, logistical, marketing and political decisions affect the drug discovery process;
* Participate in a virtual drug discovery exercise that simulates the trials and tribulations that are encountered in bringing a novel drug candidate to market.

Numeracy (F, A), Problem solving (T, F A), Scientific writing (F, A), Independent working (F), Group working (F).

A series of case studies on blockbuster drugs will be used to illustrate various aspects of the drug discovery process. This will include discussion of leading small molecule drugs in respiratory and inflammatory areas (e.g. Seretide and Naproxen). It will also discuss case studies associated with recent expensive failures in the drug discovery process (e.g. Avandia and Vioxx). Successful case studies of drugs discovered by smaller biotech companies/academia will be discussed. The difficulties in developing drugs for treatment of diseases of the developing world and orphan drugs will also be discussed. A virtual drug-discovery exercise will be run that simulates many aspects of the drug-discovery process.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

CH30209 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AFB07 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery (Year 3)
  • USCH-AAB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Industrial Placement (Year 4)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.