PSC3112 - Drug discovery and development - 2017

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.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Dr David Chalmers

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This is no longer an elective for Bachelor of Pharmacy students


To explain the processes whereby new drugs are discovered and developed, from initial ideas through to full clinical use in man, and to illustrate the interphase between the biosciences and pharmaceutical business.

This will involve:

  • drug lead identification
  • target identification and validation
  • proteomics, genomics and pharmacogenomics
  • drugs to treat infectious diseases and the use of bioisosteres in drug design
  • target identification, validation and biological evaluation
  • the importance and application of pharmaceutics in drug development
  • the clinical trial process
  • intellectual property


At the end of this unit students will have an understanding of:

  1. The major approaches to drug discovery;
  2. The process of identifying a drug target and the steps required to validate that target;
  3. Drugs that treat infectious diseases and approaches to developing those drugs;
  4. The importance of pharmaceutics in drug development;
  5. Pharmacokinetics in drug development;
  6. The clinical trial process;
  7. Legal documentation of pharmaceutical product invention.


Final exam (2 hour): 60%; written assignments: 25%; oral presentation: 15%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty six 1-hour workshops
  • One 3-hour presentation session

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: