A new medicine takes around 12 years to develop

… from initial discovery to developing it into a product that can be safely given to patients. The cost of this process is about £1.15 billion.
Vials of medicine being filled by a machine

​It takes an average over 12 years to bring a promising compound from the research laboratory to the doctor’s surgery. Discovery and development costs for a new medicines are typically about £1.15 billion. For every marketed medicine, on average 5,000 - 10,000 chemical compounds will have been made; 10 - 20 of these will have undergone pre-clinical testing; 5 - 10 will have gone into clinical trials and only one will have proved to be sufficiently safe and effective to become a marketed medicine.

Combinatorial chemistry and high-throughout screening that allow many thousands of compounds to be tested in a relatively short time, have been used to try to find potential new medicines, but results have been disappointing and finding a molecule with the right therapeutic and safety profile is still a long and difficult task.

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Case study

Physical Chemist (discovery)

Physical Chemist (discovery) case studyEvery day you have the opportunity to apply your skills to chemical problems that directly contribute to the discovery of potential new drugs.