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Birth of a drug
Birth of a drug

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3 Reading activity

You will shortly be asked to read through a research paper published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, in which the synthesis and structure–activity relationships of doxazosin and related compounds are described. It has been provided:

  • (a) to show you how the results of such a research programme are reported to the wider scientific community. Note that once the essential steps in the synthesis of a new drug have been patented, pharmaceutical companies (and indeed companies in the fine-chemical industry generally) encourage their research workers to publish the results of their work just as researchers in academic institutions do;

  • (b) to provide a more detailed explanation of the chemical background to the development of doxazosin;

  • (c) to show in particular how the syntheses of new, hitherto unknown, compounds are reported, with details of the route(s) and experimental conditions employed, and sufficient data reported to establish unambiguously the structures of the new compounds.

In reading this paper you should not attempt to commit to memory the details of the syntheses described, nor should you let yourself become bogged down by some of the pharmacological terms. Instead, concentrate mainly on the chemistry. Note that norepinephrine is just the alternative name for noradrenaline used in the USA.

Click to open a Research paper from the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]