Drugs: From Discovery to Market

University of Melbourne

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Drugs: From Discovery to Market

  • Host University

    University of Melbourne

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Chemistry, Pre-Pharmacy

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    PHRM20001 Pharmacology: How Drugs Work
    BIOM20002 Human Structure and Function
    Students wishing to undertake this subject as breadth will need the approval of the subject co-ordinator.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This subject will provide an overview of modern drug discovery and development, with an emphasis on the pharmacology that underpins the endeavour. The social, economic and scientific challenges facing contemporary drug discovery and development with respect to choice of suitable drug targets will be discussed; current drug targets, including receptors and enzymes, will be highlighted. Strategies ? contrasting the complementary chemical-to-target and target-to-chemical approaches ? to identify and optimise lead compounds will be presented. The material will include a discussion of small molecules as well as ?biologicals?, such as antibodies and nucleotides. A description of how these lead compounds become drug candidates and are characterised with regards to their pharmacodynamic (receptor binding and activation), pharmacokinetic (ability to reach their site of action) and toxicological/safety pharmacology properties will be provided. Finally the approaches to bring an identified drug candidate to the market will be examined. This part of the subject will consider the necessary human clinical trials, regulatory requirements and ongoing monitoring of approved drugs. The subject material will be presented via a combination of lectures, associated online learning materials, and ?hot topic? tutorials. The latter will focus on recent innovations in drug discovery, and will serve to highlight the close relationship between basic science and actual therapeutic agents.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.