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Re: concern about future medications
Apr 3, 2005

Dr. Young,

You're also correct in that much of drug discovery isn't directed at making a new version of an old drug, but rather to work on new aspects or targets-- something that is sufficiently different and better as to have a chance of capturing a market share, because of meeting an unmet need in the treatment community.

What about focusing a drugs that have much less toxicities?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Perhaps my original reply wasn't specific enough, but you're correct again-- minimizing toxicities is one of the "new aspects" of medications that is being actively explored by drug discovery.

Indeed, many otherwise attractive chemical compounds die in early stages of discovery because of toxicity or side effects. So, most drugs that make it into even the phase I studies have past tests on toxicity in non-human animal models, others fail later because of unacceptable side effects.

The level of acceptable side effects has become more stringent as we get better and better drugs. Witness the recent evolution in better tolerated or easier to take NRTIs and protease inhibitors as examples of this approach-- drugs that were developed at considerable cost because of the need to improve side effects and toxicity.

Thanks for reading. BY


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