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Cancer Biol Med. 2015 Dec;12(4):316-27. doi: 10.7497/j.issn.2095-3941.2015.0079.

Bridging academic science and clinical research in the search for novel targeted anti-cancer agents.

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Experimental Therapeutics Center & D3, ASTAR, Singapore 138669, Singapore.


This review starts with a brief history of drug discovery & development, and the place of Asia in this worldwide effort discussed. The conditions and constraints of a successful translational R&D involving academic basic research and clinical research are discussed and the Singapore model for pursuit of open R&D described. The importance of well-characterized, validated drug targets for the search for novel targeted anti-cancer agents is emphasized, as well as a structured, high quality translational R&D. Furthermore, the characteristics of an attractive preclinical development drug candidate are discussed laying the foundation of a successful preclinical development. The most frequent sources of failures are described and risk management at every stage is highly recommended. Organizational factors are also considered to play an important role. The factors to consider before starting a new drug discovery & development project are described, and an example is given of a successful clinical project that has had its roots in local universities and was carried through preclinical development into phase I clinical trials.


Drug discovery; drug development; targeted anti-cancer agents; translational R&D

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