Description: This book details the process of drug discovery for several types of reactions. Methods for identification of compounds and their properties are described in detail for each of the examples.
Purpose: The goal of this book is to provide a detailed description of the process of drug development using as examples several well recognized products. This is a useful insight into the field. Given the perspective of the editor, the objectives were met.
Audience: The readers of this book will include advanced graduate students, research personnel, and laboratory managers. The author is a senior official at Merck and highly qualified in the area.
Features: This book details the drug discovery and development process for several classes of pharamcologically important drugs.These include agents that control blood pressure (ACE inhibitors), inhibit protease action, reduce circulating cholesterol, control inflammatory responses, and modulate hormonal receptors. The use of monoclonal antibodies as therapeutic agents is also discussed as is the role of enzyme inhibitors as antifungal agents. In each case, a thorough description of the target as well as the strategy for control/intervention is presented. Overall, the examples represent a cross section of efforts in the industry outside of those agents targeting malignant disease. The bibliographies are thorough and the presentations logically arranged. Not surprisingly, the majority of the authors are connected with Merck (the home of the editor) and whatever bias is present reflects this insularity. Lacking in the book is a clear discussion of the principles of drug design, the role of genomics and proteomics in this process, the value of molecular modeling in the absence of crystallographic data, and procedures for the choice of targets (often driven by market considerations). There is insufficient attention given to high throughput screens or combinatorial methods indicative of the somewhat classic nature of the material presented. These caveats notwithstanding, the book will be of interest to investigators engaged in this type of translational research.
Assessment: The standard of this book is high, but some of the material is dated.