The field of biotechnology has revolutionized the drug discovery process. Recombinant DNA-driven drug discovery process is beginning to add new avenues for some old drugs. In its infancy, genetic engineering was considered useful only for the production of therapeutic proteins. Insulin, for example, previously prepared by isolation of pancreatic tissue of bovine or porcine species, can now be prepared identical to human insulin by biotechnology. Companies like Genentech and Biogen were founded solely with this objective. However, proteins do not make ideal drugs, being difficult to administer, rapidly cleared, and potentially immunogenic. Despite these disadvantages, a rapidly increasing number of “biopharmaceuticals” including recombinant proteins, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and even antisense oligonucleosides have been approved for indications ranging from metastatic breast cancer (Herceptin) to rheumatoid arthritis (Remicade, Enbrel).
|Giridhar R. Drug discovery: Past and present. J Adv Pharm Technol Res 2012;3:2|
|Giridhar R. Drug discovery: Past and present. J Adv Pharm Technol Res [serial online] 2012 [cited 2014 Aug 15];3:2. Available from: http://www.japtr.org/text.asp?2012/3/1/2/93554|