This book is written for second, and subsequent year undergraduates studying for degrees in medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacy, pharmacology and other related degrees. It is also intended for students whose degree courses contain a limited reference to medicinal chemistry.
The text assumes that the reader has a knowledge of chemistry at level one of a university life sciences degree. The text discusses the fundamental chemical principles used for drug discovery and design. A knowledge of physiology and biology is advantageous but not essential. Appropriate relevant physiology and biology is outlined in the appendices.
Chapter 1 gives a brief review of the structures and nomenclature of the more common classes of naturally occurring compounds found in biological organisms. It is included for undergraduates who have little or no background knowledge of natural product chemistry. For students who have studied natural product chemistry it may be used as either a revision or a reference chapter.
Chapter 2 attempts to give an overview of medicinal chemistry. The basic approaches used to discover and design drugs are outlined in Chapters 3–6 inclusive.
Chapter 7 is intended to give the reader a taste of main line medicinal chemistry. It illustrates some of the strategies used, often within the approaches outlined in previous chapters, to design new drugs. For a more encyclopedic coverage of the discovery and design of drugs for specific conditions, the reader is referred to appropriate texts such as some of those given under Medicinal Chemistry in the Selected Further Reading section at the end of this book.
Chapters 8 and 9 describe the pharmacokinetics and metabolism respectively of drugs and their effect on drug design.
Chapter 10 attempts to give an introductory overview of an area that is one of the principal objectives of the medicinal chemist. For a more in-depth discussion, the reader is referred to the many specialized texts that are available on organic synthesis.
Drug development from the research stage to marketing the final product is briefly outlined in Chapter 11. The approach to medicinal chemistry is kept as simple as possible. The text is supported by a set of questions at the end of each chapter. Answers, sometimes in the form of references to sections of the book, are listed separately. A list of recommended further reading, classified according to subject, is also included.