Drugdiscovery is the process of looking at several thousand molecules andidentifying the chemical properties specific target site, and selectivity.  Once identified that one of the molecules hasa disease related target that can have therapeutic effect. This stage hasmultiple key participants comprising of chemists, biologists, clinicians,engineers, and researchers. Healthcare professionals play a significant role inrecognizing which therapies are effective and those that need improvement.

Thereare two main ways that a drug can be discovered. One is disease related targetmolecule; this looks at an unmet need and focuses on pathophysiology and the targetmolecule. The alternative is to look at a drug that has already been discoveredand through clinical trials identify a new indication. Drugs are usuallydiscovered at a pharmaceutical company or an academia/institution. Computersare able to analyze the structures and function of disease related targets.

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Some drugs are often discovered by natural products like plants,microorganisms, and animals. Drugs like warfarin were extracted from fungi. Oneof the main challenges when developing a drug is the low chance of the drugbeing a candidate. However, a drug discovery helps better understand a diseaseand can often improve the effectiveness of existing drugs.