BIOTECHNOLOGY AND DRUG DISCOVERY
Pharmaceutical scientists have taken advantage of every opportunity or technique available to aid in the long, costly, and unpredictable drug discovery process. In essence, Chapter is an overview of some of the many applications of biotechnology and related tech-niques useful in drug discovery or design, lead optimization, and development. In addition to recom-binant DNA and hybridoma technology, the techniques described have changed the way drug research is conducted, refining the process that optimizes the useful pharmacological properties of an identified novel chemical lead and minimizing the unwanted properties. The promise of genomics, pro-teomics, metabolomics, pharmacogenomics/pharma-cogenetics, toxicogenomics, and bioinformatics to radically change the drug discovery paradigm is eagerly anticipated (Beeley et al., 2000; Ohlstein et al., 2000; Wierenga 2002; Basu and Oyelere, 2003; Loging et al., 2007). Figure 12 shows schematically the interaction of three key elements that are essential for modern drug discovery: new targets identified by genomics, proteomics, and related technologies; vali-dation of the identified targets; rapid, sensitive bioas-says utilizing high-throughput screening methods; and new molecule creation and optimization employing a host of approaches. The key elements are underpinned at each point by bioinformatics. Several of the technol-ogies, methods and approaches listed in Figure 12 have been described previously in this chapter. Others will be described below.