Discovery of new cancer drugs is important for the improvement of disease treatment and management. In addition to the clear medical needs there are also economic considerations: Much drug discovery is performed in the private sector. The high cost of some drug treatments, which can run to tens of thousands of US$ per patient for single courses of therapy has led to the perception of high profitability in the industry. But drug discovery and development is a very expensive and lengthy process, with an ongoing trend of fewer drugs brought to market per dollar invested in RBiochemical-based in vitro screens for hosts of targets have produced early stage drug candidates and led to drugs reaching the market, but there remains a great need to evaluate in vivo efficacy, toxicity and potential off-target effects as early as possible in the discovery process. Using whole organisms much earlier in cancer (and other) drug discovery is a potential approach to improve R productivity. Here, we provide an overview of recent patenting activity and take a brief look at possible new developments in the field.
Keywords: hit, lead, Cancer, Caenorhabditis elegans, early stage drug discovery, whole organism, Danio rerio, Dictyostelium discoideum, Drosophila melanogaster, Screenable models, human cancer gene homologue, cell proliferation
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