Although large molecule drug discovery has become more popular recently, small molecules have always acted as the basis for the majority of drug research and development and are expected to remain in demand in the years to come. In fact, one study estimates that the global market for small molecule drug discovery will grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 8 percent through 2026. Several factors account for this growth, including the fact that small molecule drug development has the potential to assist with chronic disease management. In the years to come, small molecules are expected to help with the formulation of more efficient and effective treatments for chronic conditions, allowing patients to enjoy better results while taking fewer medications.
Six in ten Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease, and many of those have more than one chronic condition. These people rely on medications to allay their symptoms, sometimes using several prescriptions that must be taken multiple times each day. Consistently taking all prescriptions as directed can be difficult when a patient is juggling several types with varying instructions, and the likelihood of a negative drug interaction increases as a patient takes more medications.
To make it easier for patients to safely and effectively manage their chronic conditions with medications, pharmaceutical and biotech companies have begun investing in new research and partnering with contract research organizations (CROs) to study small molecule drug candidates. CROs play an important role in this process, providing knowledge and expertise critical to the research and development of small molecule drugs. Companies partnering with CROs for small molecule research should look for the following characteristics when exploring candidates:
- Knowledgeable leadership
- Bioanalytical capabilities and experience with a variety of drug targets and treatment types
- Delivery of more than just data (including recommendations regarding when to move to the next phase of screening, suggestions for molecular modifications, etc.)
- A full-service CRO
- Cost that indicates quality
Currently the majority of the drug market is comprised of small molecule drugs. They’re easier and less expensive to develop, they have stood the test of time, and they may hold the key to effective and safe treatments for many chronic conditions. To learn more about this subject, check out the article “Chronic disease management opportunities lie in small molecule drug discovery” by Helen Shen, Ph.D., Vice President and Global Head of DMPK for QPS.
Since 1995, QPS has provided discovery, preclinical, and clinical drug development services. An award-winning leader focused on bioanalytics and clinical trials, QPS is known for proven quality standards, technical expertise, a flexible approach to research, client satisfaction and turnkey laboratories and facilities. For more information, visit www.qps.com or email [email protected].