Developing inhaled drugs for respiratory diseases a medicinal chemistry perspective

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Inhaled drug delivery is crucial, but challenging, for many respiratory diseases. Medicinal chemists should follow guidelines aiding inhaled drug design to optimise their chances of downstream success

Despite the devastating impact of many lung diseases on human health, there is still a significant unmet medical need in respiratory diseases, for which inhaled delivery represents a crucial strategy. More guidance on how to design and carry out multidisciplinary inhaled projects is needed. When designing inhaled drugs, the medicinal chemist must carefully balance the physicochemical properties of the molecule to achieve optimal target engagement in the lung. Although the medicinal chemistry strategy is unique for each project, and will change depending on multiple factors, such as the disease, target, systemic risk, delivery device, and formulation, general guidelines aiding inhaled drug design can be applied and are summarised in this review.

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