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XX50225: Techniques for drug discovery

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2018/9
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Further information on credits Credits: 18      [equivalent to 36 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 360
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 50%, EX 50%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Article (CW 20%)
  • Presentation (CW 10%)
  • Group work (CW 20%)
  • Exam (EX 50%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
To provide an overview of the process of drug discovery and development, providing core knowledge of the techniques and considerations involved in the identification and validation of a drug target, the discovery and optimisation of small molecule drugs and biological therapeutics, drug delivery technology and the translation of a drug into a medicine.

Learning Outcomes:
After studying this unit, students should be able to:
* Discuss critically the strategic, scientific and operational issues to be considered prior to launching a drug discovery programme
* Distinguish the differing drug discovery approaches that may be associated with specific therapeutic areas and organisations
* Compare the molecular and clinical techniques that may be utilised in the identification of a drug target
* Compare the cellular and in vivo techniques that may be required for the validation of a drug target
* Explain how enzyme and biological screening platforms are developed and applied in drug discovery
* Explain the methodologies involved in the identification and optimisation of small-molecule drugs, and how they are applied
* Describe the techniques associated with the identification and optimisation of therapeutic peptides and proteins
* Justify the importance of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in drug development and successful drug therapy.
* Explain and contrast the concepts of bioavailability, bioequivalence, and generic drugs
* Distinguish the pre-clinical and clinical phases involved in drug development.

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


* Understanding the concept of disease and the role of pharmacology
* Historical overview of the approaches to drug discovery (natural products, synthetic chemistry, recombinant protein, recombinant antibodies, nonpharmacological therapeutics)
* Strategic, scientific and operational issues to be considered prior to launching a drug discovery programme
* Overview on therapeutic areas and differing drug discovery approaches
* Target Identification:
Disease models (cell, animal and clinical samples)
Molecular Techniques (genetics/genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabonomics, lipidomics)
Clinical Techniques (epidemiology, physiology, imaging)

* Target Validation:
Cell models (antisense, siRNAs and CRISPR/CRISPRi/CRISPRa) Tissue Models
Animal Models (disease models and transgenic/knockout mouse)

* Overview of drug identification and optimisation
* Development of enzyme and/or biological screening platforms
* Small molecule identification and optimisation:
High throughput screening
Structure-based design and molecular modelling

* Recombinant peptides/proteins identification and optimisation
* Recombinant antibodies identification and optimisation
* Pre-clinical drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (DPKM)
* Pre-clinical safety and toxicology
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

XX50225 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology