May 01, 2008
In drug discovery, determining information about the extent of metabolism and the elucidation of metabolite structures is a vital step for lead optimization and drug scaffold refinement. The identification and characterization of metabolites plays an important role in both the drug discovery and development phases, as unsuitable pharmacokinetics (bioavailability and drug distribution), toxicity, and adverse drug reactions might be linked to metabolic instability. Historically, metabolite identification was carried out after a compound had been chosen for drug development. However, to reduce candidate failures attributed to toxicity effects, many pharmaceutical companies now conduct these experiments in the earliest phases of candidate drug selection.