Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Barbara Kemp-Harper and Dr Eva Patak



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


Modern drug development will provide the student with an appreciation of the process of discovery, testing, approval and marketing of new drugs. This will include the diseases most likely to be targeted by pharmaceutical companies for drug development; the technical issues underlying drug discovery; the role of genomics in identifying novel targets; rational drug design; the importance of screens including molecular models and high throughput screening; disease models; case studies illustrating the successful development of drugs. Career opportunities in all aspects of drug development will be highlighted.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the steps involved in the drug discovery process, including sources of drugs, how targets are identified and screening processes that can be used to test for desired activity;

  1. Discuss the steps involved in developing a commercial product from a potential drug candidate, including the relevant regulatory framework and marketing considerations;

  1. Critically evaluate methodologies and data from experiments in the context of the drug development process;

  1. Obtain, present and interpret data from pharmacological experiments relevant to the area of drug development;

  1. Source, integrate and critically evaluate the scientific literature to address an issue in the area of drug development and to communicate this orally, in written form or via a poster presentation;

  1. Work both independently and as part of a team.


Examination (three hours): 50%
Tests: 10%
Assignments: 15%
Practicals and in-class exercises: 25%
A pass in the final examination and in the practicals and in-class exercises and the assignments must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour lectures and three hours of laboratory or self-directed learning/ tutorial per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


PHA3011 and one of PHA3021 or BMS3021