Drug Discovery and Development | Pharmaceutical Research at PCOM
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Tomorrow's Therapeutics

Drug discovery and utilization research at PCOM

Drug Discovery, Development, Delivery and Utilization 
Pharmaceutical Research at PCOM

Our researchers focus on the development of novel pharmacological approaches to treating a wide range of disorders and diseases through drug development, delivery and utilization.

What is Pharmaceutical Research?

The overarching goal of pharmaceutical research is to design and test drugs with increased efficacy and specificity to reduce side effects. The first step in drug discovery is the identification of potential molecular targets that can be stimulated or repressed for therapeutic purposes. Our researchers collaborate with a bioinformatics specialist to integrate and interpret complex molecular interactions and a data analyst to evaluate the impact of healthcare policies on medication utilization and cost-effectiveness.

What is the Process of Drug Development?

Drug discovery, development, and delivery encompass the process of bringing new medications from the early stages of research to their availability for patient use. It involves a series of coordinated steps and scientific efforts aimed at identifying and developing safe and effective drugs to treat various diseases. The steps include:

Drug Discovery - Identify and design prospective drug compounds that have the potential to interact with specific disease targets or pathways. Researchers may use computational modeling, high-throughput screening and natural product isolation to identify promising compounds that exhibit therapeutic properties.

Drug Development - Once potential drug candidates are identified, they undergo extensive testing in preclinical studies. These studies assess the safety, pharmacokinetics (how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized and eliminated by the body), and efficacy of the compounds in animal models.

Clinical Trials - Clinical trials are conducted in several phases to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the drug in larger populations. Researchers test the drug's safety, dosage, and effectiveness in human volunteers in several phases that increase the number of participants and monitoring details.

Regulatory Approval - Following successful clinical trials, drug developers submit an application to regulatory authorities for approval to market the drug. Regulatory agencies review the data from preclinical and clinical studies to ensure the drug's safety, efficacy, and quality meet established safety standards.

Drug Delivery - Drug delivery refers to the mechanisms and methods used to administer drugs to patients. Drug delivery systems can include oral tablets, injectables, transdermal patches, inhalers or other specialized devices. 

Our Faculty Researchers

PCOM Georgia's Eric Wang, PhD, was awarded $10,000 by American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) to support his research on developing new therapeutic agents to treat multiple myeloma. “What I hope to accomplish is to identify potential drug candidates from natural sources with anti-myeloma effects and elucidate their mechanism of action,” Dr. Wang explained.

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Wang Awarded $10,000 to Support Multiple Myeloma Research portrait

PCOM Georgia pharmacy researchers Shashidharamurthy Taval, PhD, Vicky Mody, PhD, and Srujana Rayalam, DVM, PhD, used computational molecular modeling to explore the efficacy of FDA-approved drugs for their inhibitory effects on viral enzymes. Results showed that some current pharmaceuticals could be repurposed to suppress the replication of the COVID-19 virus.

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Researchers Study COVID-19 Drug Targets portrait

PCOM researcher Hua Ling, PharmD, recently analyzed results from a clinical trial involving quadruple therapy for patients with HFrEF. His research is focused on understanding how the medications studied in a clinical trial actually work in real-world settings and how they impact patient outcomes.

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Analyzing HFrEF Drug Therapy portrait

Vicky Mody, PhD, is working to develop antiviral drugs that can specifically target and inhibit the replication of viruses and address resistance. According to Mody, his work is "part of a larger effort to improve healthcare and protect individuals from viral infections, offering hope for better outcomes and a healthier future."

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Research at PCOM

PCOM aims to develop innovative approaches to promoting health through basic, translational, clinical, behavioral, education and community research projects.