Lead identification is also known as bioequivalence study. It is one of the most important steps in drug development. In order to improve the chemical potency, selectivity or pharmacokinetics parameters, chemical modifications should be done. The starting point for chemical modification is the chemical structure of the lead compound.
If the molecule is identified, then check its following properties,
If the molecule has no toxicity and no mutagenicity, then it is used as a lead molecule. Future bioequivalence study helps to get a high-quality lead molecule. The following are the steps involved to discover the new drugs.
- Target identification and validation
Target identification and validation is the most important process in the drug discovery process. Naturally occurring cells play a vital role in pathogenicity and drug discovery. The best target is to be safe, efficacious and easily accessible by the drug molecule or meet the clinical needs. The systematic validation should be done to find out the effective drugs.
- Hit identification and validation
The second step is the hit identification and validation. In this step, check whether the small molecule leads has an effect against the identified targets. There are various options are available to identify the hit. Some of them are
- Knowledge-based approaches
- Virtual screening
- High-throughput screening
The validation process of hit is needed after initial screening and again validate by various options.
- Moving from a hit to a lead
After analyzing various hits, the main aim is to choose the best and effective molecule. Multiple series should be done; sometimes few hits may get failure due to their particular characters. So focus on the structural difference and select the best leads.
- Lead optimization
In this stage, the main aim is to maintain the required properties of the lead compound while improving their structures. This stage is used to find out whether the drug is useful and effective to the body or it may cause any side effect to the body. In this stage, an integrated approach is required. The specialists in medical chemistry, computational chemistry, drug metabolism, and other areas should be involved in this last stage of the drug discovery process.
- Late lead optimization
Before taking the drug to the preclinical and clinical trials, late bioequivalence study is required. This helps to find out the pharmacological safety of the lead compound. If this verification does not occurs means it may cause severe effects on drug development. Safety optimization is very important in drug discovery. The main aim is to give safety and progressive leads. Try to remove the most toxic leads and established the highly characterized hazards.
Drug discovery is not a simple process. This process is undertaken by the pharmaceutical industry. This requires advanced knowledge of research, target and validate the required and best lead molecule. bioequivalence study and Research will help to find out the drug for various diseases. In the modern world, there are various new diseases are found. So the needs and requirements for new drug discovery are very high.