Drug Discovery

Course content

The following topics will be covered in lectures during the course:

  • Target classes: receptors, channels, transporters and enzymes
  • Target identification and evaluation
  • Target validation using genetic technologies
  • Drug discovery aspects related to drug deveopment aspects
  • Drug design aspects related to biopharmaceuticals and small molecules
  • Translational aspects ranging from a molecular target to whole animals
  • Case stories

 

Target prioritization, bioinformatics and literature search will be covered in workshops.

Education

Master's Programme in Industrial Drug Development - compulsory

Compulsory for Master of Industrial Drug Development (MIND) students, elective for other part-time master's students at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (subject to study board approval) and open for freelance students who meet the admission criteria.

The course is intended for drug discovery and development professionals who would like to advance their knowledge in modern technologies and approaches used in target identification/​validation, drug discovery and lead optimisation.

Learning outcome

The overall objective of the course is to provide the student with a general comprehension of the elements involved in modern drug discovery. Today, almost all drug discovery programs are directed towards design of either biopharmaceuticals or small molecules acting selectively at specific targets. As an initial step, the target involved in a given disease has to be identified and validated, which will subsequently lead to design of ligands acting selectively in a desired fashion at the target. During this lead optimization process a growing number of considerations, besides the action at the disease target, have to be taken into consideration such as ADME, toxicology and production issues. Finally, the lead candidates have to show efficacy in relevant animal disease models before the final candidate can enter pre-clinical studies. In the current course we will focus on the target identification and validation as well as drug discovery and lead optimization processes.

Upon completion of the course, participants are expected to be able to:

Knowledge

  • Demonstrate comprehension of target identification and validation methods and processes
  • Demonstrate insight into lead optimization methods and processes


Skills

  • Apply basic computational methods in the area of bioinformatics
  • Ability to select important parameters for lead optimization and lead candidate progression
  • Orally present a subject in the drug discovery area (however, this is not part of the assessment)


Competencies

  • Conduct a valid scientific literature study in the area of drug discovery
  • Write a scientifically based report on drug discovery aspects using scientific literature

The course is organized as an intensive 5-day course and will comprise approximately 20 lectures, 4 afternoon workshops and an afternoon with student presentations.

A basic knowledge of gene transcription & translation and the drug discovery process is required, which can be obtained by reading chapter 1 from "Analysis of Genes and Genomes" by Richard J. Reece (Wiley, ISBN 0470777826) and chapter 4 from “Drug Discovery and Development" by Humphrey P. Rang (Churchill Livingstone, ISBN 0443064202), respectively. In addition chapter 5 and 6 of the latter book is required reading for the workshop on the first day. Additional chapters of both books cover many of the subjects of the course and are thus recommended reading (a list of recommended reading will be provided before the course). The examination report will be based on a literature search performed by the participants and there is therefore no common syllabus for the course. Selected reviews will be provided by the organizers prior to the course as an introduction to the examination topic.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:
• A relevant bachelor degree or equivalent
• A minimum of 2 years of relevant job experience
• Proficiency in English

ECTS
3 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
The individual written assignment is based on a case story. The assignment must be based on original peer-reviewed scientific articles found by literature search performed by the participants and there is therefore no common syllabus for the course. The participants will be introduced to literature searches during the course and the examination assignment is typically based on 20-40 articles.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

To achieve the grade 12 the student should be able to:

Knowledge:

  • Demonstrate comprehension of target identification and validation methods and processes
  • Demonstrate insight into lead optimization methods and processes

 

Skills

  • Apply basic computational methods in the area of bioinformatics and literature serach
  • Ability to select important parameters for lead optimization and lead candidate progression

 

Competencies

  • Conduct a valid scientific literature study in the area of drug discovery
  • Write a scientifically based report on drug discovery aspects using scientific literature

Part time Master and Diploma courses

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 22
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Theory exercises
  • 20
  • Exam
  • 20
  • English
  • 82