Translational Medicine and Drug Discovery

Recent development in translational medicine provides a connection between basic scientific studies and clinical practice. Such an initiative may support the patient-centered objectives in both research and clinical environments. It may also improve the drug discovery procedure by allowing for a more robust and systems-based pathophysiological understanding of diseases and drug responses.

Such approaches may help improve the identification of drug targets and the optimization of drug candidates (Galizzi et al. 2013). Conventional drug design strategies have been focusing on improving structure-based protein targets to limit unintentional binding (Brown and Okuno 2012). However, the “one-to-one” drug design method has resulted in clinical adverse reactions because of multiple interactions among ligands and proteins with substantive impacts on the clinical phenotypes.

With the identification of better biomarkers, systems biology can become essential for translational medicine by connecting experimental tests with clinical concepts. Specifically, omics-based technologies may help organize and integrate the alterations in different variables including genes, proteins and metabolites into physiological and pathological networks (Galizzi et al. 2013). These approaches would help improve the efficiency in drug discovery.


Brown JB, Okuno Y. Systems biology and systems chemistry: new directions for drug discovery. Chem Biol. 2012 Jan 27;19(1):23-8. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2011.12.012.

Galizzi JP, Lockhart BP, Bril A. Applying systems biology in drug discovery and development. Drug Metabol Drug Interact. 2013;28(2):67-78. doi: 10.1515/dmdi-2013-0002.

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