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An Introduction to Drug Discovery for Dermatology


Andrew Wood*

The process of discovering new drugs is complicated, slow, risky and costly. For each new drug to be introduced, it is estimated that it will take between 10 and 15 years and an investment of $1.8 billion. About one in every 24 projects delivers a drug successfully, with many failures occurring toward the end of costly Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. The number of projects required at each stage to deliver an average new drug launch can be calculated using the cumulative success rate. The sum of all projects required at a given stage of development to deliver a single drug launch is referred to as the total cost. Finding a drug for dermatology is generally the same as finding a drug for any other indication. A low-molecular-weight small molecule can be taken orally, applied topically, or injected to treat dermatological conditions. A biological agent, such as an antibody, RNA silencing, peptide replacement, or cell therapy, may also be the alternative. Each kind of medication enjoys benefits and impediments that should be considered during advancement. In a similar vein, specialist specialists in drug design manufacturing and clinical development will be required to contribute to the discovery and development of various drug classes.


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