Improving human health and preventing illness and various diseases is one of the major areas of human endeavour in contemporary science. Huge amounts of money are invested in drug research both in academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies. Discovery of new biologically active chemical entities, their promotion in clinical candidates and drug molecules, as well as design of efficient drug formulations and their improvement are long-term tasks requiring a multi-disciplinary approach. Throughout the research process scientists are faced with challenges where important decisions have to be made and crucial actions have to be taken in order to keep pace with ever-increasing demands from the pharmaceutical market and pharmaceutical management.
Physical chemistry underlies most of the tools that medicinal chemists have at hand to assist them in their research. The vast armada of physico-chemical methods and techniques available enable fast and accurate measurements of specific parameters facilitating identification and selection of drug candidates. However, appropriate applications of physico-chemical techniques or their combinations, the proper choice of the corresponding methods as well as accurate interpretation of the results relies not only on good knowledge of physical chemistry but also on open and active communication between scientists of various backgrounds.
This book gives a selection of topics related to the various methods commonly used in pharmaceutical research. The intention, on the one hand, is to provide a theoretical background of the particular technique in order to enable inexperienced readers to gain a general impression of the usefulness of the field. On the other hand, a lot of practical examples will provide scientists, who encounter these methods either in the pharmaceutical research process or in academic institutions, with enough useful information for the successful application of these methods in their everyday work.