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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM5105M Drug Discovery and Development

15 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr B Turnbull

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

BSc degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or equivalent

This module is mutually exclusive with

CHEM3145Med Chemistry of Drug Develop
CHEM5608MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry (15 Credits)

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

An introduction to the chemistry of drug discovery and development


The objective of this module is to provide students with exposure to key aspects of the medicinal chemistry process and the pharmaceutical industry.

Key aspects involve providing students with:
(a) a comprehensive understanding of cutting edge processes and technologies used to identify drug candidates and translate these through to market; and
(b) a critical awareness of the current challenges in the drug discovery process.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

(1) understand the pharmacokinetic and metabolic aspects of drug development;
(2) understand how high throughput hits are selected including a critical awareness of the role of contemporary types of biochemical and biophysical assay in the drug discovery process;
(3) appreciate the factors governing the production of a marketable drug;
(4) understand the role of these considerations in important chemotherapeutic areas such as antibiotics and antivirals;
(5) evaluate and critically discuss cutting edge technologies employed in contemporary drug development research.


- Drug Discovery Process (from target identification to market), Clinical trials and drug approval, Statistical significance and the Placebo effect (2 lectures)
- High throughput discovery technologies: Combichem, Assays/ Screening/ Z Score, HTS (3 lectures)
- the application of biophysical assays (including fluorescence, surface plasmon resonance, titration calorimetry, NMR-based methods) to critically evaluate and corroborate high throughput screening results (4 lectures)
- Metabolism – fundamentals, phase I and II metabolism, p450 etc., ADMET, distribution, excretion, toxicity (e.g. hERG) (4 lectures)
- Case studies – anitvirals OR antibacterials (basic biochemistry and elaboration of strategies) (3 lectures)
- Production of a marketable drug: Process chemistry and scale up constraints, Patents and marketing (Polymorphism) (5 lectures).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Private study hours121.00
Total Contact hours29.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

50 hours - reading for lectures and workshops
6 hours - preparation of written work for workshops
40 hours reading research literature and preparation for oral presentations and coursework essay
25 hours - preparation for examinations.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback through deductive problem solving during tutorial sessions and on their paper selection prior to them delivering their oral presentation. Also feedback on oral presentation prior to them submitting their written summary.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayWritten summary of research methods18.00
Oral PresentationOral Presentation of research paper selected by the student18.00
Tutorial PerformanceThree deductive problem sets9.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)45.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 00 mins55.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)55.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/11/2019 08:50:03


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