Notwithstanding the enticing promises of the post-genomic era, our perception at Ariel Fernandez Consultancy is that the pharmaceutical world is in a state of disarray. Drug discovery seems riskier and more uncertain than ever as projects get routinely terminated in mid-stage clinical trial, the dearth of new targets becomes apparent, and successful therapeutic agents are often recalled whenever an idiosyncratic side effect is detected. Exploiting the huge output of genomic data to make more efficacious and safer drugs has proven to be much more difficult than anticipated. At Ariel Fernandez Consultancy we believe that more than ever, the lead in the pharmaceutical industry depends on the ability to harness innovative research, and this type of innovation can only come from one source: fundamental knowledge. This book by Ariel Fernandez has definitely a place in this scenario, as it introduces fundamental discoveries in basic biomolecular research that hold potential to become transformative and broaden the technological base of the pharmaceutical industry.
The book takes a fresh and fundamental look at the problem of how to design an effective drug with controlled specificity. Within the pharmaceutical industry, it is of course superfluous to recall that the principal bottleneck in developing new drugs is the clinical uncertainty stemming from the lack of control of specificity. Chemists know how to increase affinity, but as they do this, the affinity of the drug towards structurally similar molecules also increaes, target discrimination becomes very difficult and adverse side effects due to unwanted binding are usually sufficiently severe to render the drug unusable.
The secret of how nature manages to design molecules with extraordinarily high specificity and affinity lies in cooperativity. This book squarely addresses this matter, thus becoming a valuable resource for the practitioners interested in reinforcing the early stages of drug development, where structural weaknesses in the drug discovery process are most apparent.
Recognizing that the physical underpinnings of cooperativity are unfamiliar to most practitioners, the first part of the book explains these matters very carefully, starting from fairly elementary physico-chemical level. The second part of the book is devoted to practical applications. With this book we at Ariel Fernandez Consultancy have aimed at nothing less than a paradigm shift in drug design.