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Glossary

This is a glossary of terms and abbreviations used in the drug discovery industry.

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API)
Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) are active chemicals used in the manufacturing of drugs. Another term for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient is "Bulk Drug Substance," although API is more internationally recognised.

Biochemicals
Biochemicals are products used for various applications in the drug development industry and may be used widely, particularly in a research environment for testing. They involve chemical processes in living organisms.

Cheminformatics
Cheminformatics are computer software and hardware used in drug discovery and development programs for chemical screening and analysis.

Cherry Picking
"Cherry Picking" the compound library to retrieve potential hits, either real or false, is one of the first areas to feel the impact.

Custom Synthesis
Custom Synthesis is used for the production of organic drug compounds to the specification of the client for the their specific development and research needs.

Combinatorial Chemistry
Combinatorial Chemistry - Is used to synthesize large number of chemical compounds by combining sets of building blocks. Each newly synthesized compound's composition is slightly different from the previous one. A traditional chemist can synthesize 100-200 compounds per year. A combinatorial robotic system can produce in a year thousands or millions compounds which can be tested for potential drug candidates in a high-throughput screening process.

Directed Library
Directed Library (Target Library, Focused Library) - Library which uses a limited number of building blocks chosen on the basis of pre-existing information or hypothesis which defines the type of functionalities deemed important to obtain a particular activity.

Fine Chemicals
These are chemicals that are produced in small-to-medium quantities for use as intermediates in the manufacture of specialty products, e.g. pharmaceuticals, dyes, pigments, coatings, flavours, fragrances and lubricants. They are sold on the basis of their chemical constitution at higher prices than commodity chemicals. Specialty products are sold at even higher prices on the basis of their fitness for purpose.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
Good Manufacturing Practices are standard guidelines set out by the FDA to ensure drug development is carried out in safe and quality processes, to avoid contamination and ensure repeatability.

High Throughput Screening
High Throughput Screening - The process of using automated assays to search through large numbers of substances for desired activity, resulting in less costly and faster processes.

Organic Raw Materials
Organic Raw Materials are natural, pre-processed ingredients used in the development and production of drugs.

Reagents
Reagents are chemicals used in reactions when they are added to a solution. The reagent is used to detect, measure or produce other substances.

Research and Development (R&D)
Research and Development (R&D) is carried out prior to a new drug being introduced. Research involves studying a subject or market in order to further knowledge, and development is the implementation of this knowledge to make a new product.

Vials
Vials are small plastic or glass bottles used for storing and transporting liquid drugs and chemicals.