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I'm new here, finally after months I was able to receive the confirmation mail...

For now, I'll just copy one thing I wrote on Mastodon and to see how it works.


#Medicine #pharmaceutical #explanation

Some information about how new medicines are made by a guy who read a bit about it.

Most medicines target a particular protein in the human body.

The objective is to have something that interacts with the protein so that the function of the protein is altered.

Many things can be used to alter those mechanisms, such as small molecules, other proteins, antibodies and other things.

These things hopefully go nearby the protein of interest and modify its shape or block some part of it.

It is difficult to find one such thing that modifies the function of the protein in the desired way that is expected to cure the disease.

It's even more difficult to find one who does not interact with other proteins and causes toxic side effects.

I'll quickly outline some methodologies used to find small molecules that can act as medicines.

Small molecules are molecules made up of atoms with a contained dimension, much smaller than the common protein.

One very simple way to find such a molecule is to test a lot of different molecules with the protein in a laboratory and observing if something good happens.

This methodology is pretty good since it requires no prior knowledge about the protein nor about the molecules you're testing.

This procedure however also has some downsides: you need to obtain all the molecules you need to test and you need either a lot of people testing them or some specialized machinery.

This is of course very expensive.

Moreover, if none of the molecules you were able to obtain are good for curing the disease, you just spent a lot of money and gained little information about how to cure the disease.

This first methodology is very widespread in the big pharma industry, since they have the means to sustain the costs of a potentially fruitless expense.

It is difficult to find this kind of methodologies used in universities and research institutions, due to more limited budget.

Alright, this was a first quick introduction to the theme, if you're interested I can write a bit more; trying to keep it simple.

Let me know what you could be interested in knowing.

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