Cambridge MedChem Consulting

Drug Discovery Books

I occasionally get asked for suggestions for books on Drug Discovery. I actually find the Case History type publications the most interesting so my choices are perhaps biased, but here they are with links to Amazon.

One of my favourites is Drug Prototypes and Their Exploitation by Walter Sneader, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, ISBN-10: 0471948470 which is now out of print, and has been replaced by Drug Discovery: A History by the same author. Another book giving a historical perspective is The Evolution of Drug Discovery: From Traditional Medicines to Modern Drugs

An excellent book looking at case histories is Drugs: From Discovery to Approval by Rick Ng updated in 2015. This gives a pretty good overview of the drug discovery process. There is also Textbook of Drug Design and Discovery, Fourth Edition. A more recent addition is An Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry by Graham Patrik.

I recently reviewed Bioisosteres in Medicinal Chemistry: 54 (Methods and Principles in Medicinal Chemistry) an excellent book that all medicinal chemists should have access to. From the same author there is also [Scaffold Hopping in Medicinal Chemistry] (By: Nathan Brown) [published: January, 2014], and In Silico Medicinal Chemistry: Computational Methods to Support Drug Design (RSC Theoretical and Computational Chemistry).

For an authoritative book on enzyme inhibitors I can recommend Evaluation of Enzyme Inhibitors in Drug Discovery: A Guide for Medicinal Chemists and Pharmacologists, for those working on receptors Affinity And Efficacy: The Components Of Drug-Receptor Interactions

If you are looking for an introduction to Medicinal Chemistry then Real World Drug Discovery: A Chemist's Guide to Biotech and Pharmaceutical Research is an excellent starting point.

If you want an authorative book on the molecular properties of drug like molecules then Drug-like Properties: Concepts, Structure Design and Methods: From ADME to Toxicity Optimization is the book for you.

Foye's Principles of Medicinal Chemistry is an excellent undergraduate teaching book and is probably on the recommended reading list for many courses. Also have look at the recently updated The Organic Chemistry of Drug Design and Drug Action

Fragment based screening is getting increasingly popular and there are a number of excellent books includingFragment-Based Drug Discovery: Lessons and Outlook (Methods and Principles in Medicinal Chemistry) by Dan Eranson of "Practical Fragments", as well as Library Design, Search Methods, and Applications of Fragment-Based Drug Design (ACS Symposium Series) and Fragment-Based Drug Discovery and X-Ray Crystallography: 317 (Topics in Current Chemistry)

For many chemists the regulatory development process can seem like a black box, to get an insight into the regulatory process I'd recommend New Drug Development: A Regulatory Overview.

In most drug discovery projects sorting out the ADME/T issues is the most challenging part of the project. Handbook of Essential Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism for Industrial Scientists provides a useful desktop reference for PK/PD issues and can provide answers to questions like "What is the plasma volume of a Guinea Pig?". There is also Oral Formulation Roadmap from Early Drug Discovery to Development. For a more MedChem viewpoint Lead Optimization for Medicinal Chemists: Pharmacokinetic Properties of Functional Groups and Organic Compounds (By: Florencio Zaragoza Dorwald) . Another overlooked area is Pharmaceutics and Aulton's Pharmaceutics: The Design and Manufacture of Medicines, 5e many be useful. There is also Solubility, Delivery and ADME Problems of Drugs and Drug-Candidates.

If you are an academic thinking of starting a drug discovery program then this book might be useful A Practical Guide to Drug Development in Academia: The SPARK Approach (SpringerBriefs in Pharmaceutical Science & Drug Development)

If you are interested in a book about innovative thinking I'd recommend the The Medici Effect, With a New Preface and Discussion Guide: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation how breakthrough ideas most often occur when we bring concepts from one field into a new, unfamiliar territory.

The problem with books is that updating them is not a trivial exercise, and so they can appear dated.

Last updated 24 November 2018