The future of discovery chemistry: quo vadis? Academic to industrial – the maturation of medicinal chemistry to chemical biology

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The article deals with how medicinal chemistry must diversify at pace and in line with the increasing understanding of chemical biology, in order to provide the necessary innovation that the industry requires.

At Roche, we set out to think about the future role of medicinal chemistry in drug discovery in a project involving both Roche internal stakeholders and external experts in drug discovery chemistry. To derive a coherent strategy, selected scientists were asked to take extreme positions and to derive two orthogonal strategic options: chemistry as the traditional mainstream science and chemistry as the central entrepreneurial science. We believe today’s role of medicinal chemistry in industry has remained too narrow. To provide the innovation that industry requires, medicinal chemistry must play its part and diversify at pace with our increasing understanding of chemical biology and network pharmacology.

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