CHEM08005 2019 Drug Structure

General Details

Full Title
Drug Structure
Transcript Title
Drug Structure
N/A %
Subject Area
CHEM - Chemistry
LIFE - Life Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Geraldine Duignan, Yvonne Lang
Programme Membership
SG_SPHAR_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Pharmaceutical Science SG_SPHAR_K08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Pharmaceutical Science

In this module, synthetic routes to a number of common active pharmaceutical ingredients will be examined as will the significance of drug impurity profiles associated with these routes. 

The fields of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, with related processes and technologies for drug discovery and design will be introduced and links between a drugs structure, its physicochemical properties and pharmacological activity will be highlighted. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Describe some of the principal routes used in the preparation of common pharmaceutical products and important intermediates.


Explain the significance and consequence of impurities which may be encountered during pharmaceutical product synthesis and examine the characterisation and classification of such impurities.


Relate a drug's chemical structure to its physicochemical properties and consequent entry, distribution, action and elimination from the body. 

Interpret outcomes of simple QSAR studies and suggest suitable structural modifications to optimise potency.

Demonstrate an understanding of the approaches, processes and technologies employed by the field of Medicinal Chemistry in drug discovery and design. 


Discuss the significance of natural sources for drug discovery and the challenges associated with generating new development candidates from natural sources. 

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full-time. This will include lectures and workshops augmented by independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs. Moodle will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals).

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 40% continuous assessment and 60% final examination.

Continuous assessment will include a blend of essay or journal review and short answer questions. 

Repeat Assessments

Repeat continuous assessment and/or final examination.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Synthetic routes towards the synthesis of pharmaceutical products and intermediates - aliphatic- aromatic, substituted aromatic, heterocyclic compounds.

Pharmaceutical impurities including classification, characterisation and elimination. 

Physicochemical properties influencing pharmaceutic, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic aspects of drug action.

Structural features and physicochemical properties of drug like molecules and druggable targets.

Rational drug design including the following elements SAR, QSAR, identification of pharmacophore,  structural analogues, strategies for lead optimisation.

The drug discovery and development process.

Drug discovery from natural sources including the following elements chemical diversity, existing drug classes from natural sources eg alkaloids bioprospecting, screening, isolation, characterisation.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Short Answer Questions Continuous Assessment Assessment 30 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4
2 Written Report Journal Review Continuous Assessment Assessment 10 % Week 10 5,6

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Written Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 60 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Tiered Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Group Learning Flat Classroom Group Learning 1 Weekly 1.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self Study 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2003-10-29 Fundamentals of Medicinal Chemistry Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN 9780470843079 ISBN-13 9780470843079

Provides an introduction to the chemistry of therapeutically active compounds. This title reviews the structures and nomenclature of the more common classes of naturally occurring compounds found in biological organisms. An overview of medicinal chemistry is followed by chapters covering the discovery and design of drugs.

Recommended Reading
2005-09-29 Medicinal Chemistry: A Molecular and Biochemical Approach OUP USA
ISBN 0195104552 ISBN-13 9780195104554
Recommended Reading
2010-03-25 Wilson and Gisvold's Textbook of Organic Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
ISBN 0781779294 ISBN-13 9780781779296
Recommended Reading
2008-07-28 The Practice of Medicinal Chemistry Academic Press
ISBN 0123741947 ISBN-13 9780123741943

Title: Practice of Medicinal Chemistry <>Binding: Hardcover <>Author: Wermuth, Camille Georges <>Publisher: Elsevier Science & Technology

Recommended Reading
2014-12-09 The Handbook of Medicinal Chemistry: Principles and Practice Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN 1849736251 ISBN-13 9781849736251

Drug discovery is a constantly developing and expanding area of research. Developed to provide a comprehensive guide, the Handbook of Medicinal Chemistry covers the past, present and future of the entire drug development process. Highlighting the recent successes and failures in drug discovery, the book helps readers to understand the factors governing modern drug discovery from the initial concept through to a marketed medicine. With chapters covering a wide range of topics from drug discovery processes and optimization, development of synthetic routes, pharmaceutical properties and computational biology, the handbook aims to enable medicinal chemists to apply their academic understanding to every aspect of drug discovery. Each chapter includes expert advice to not only provide a rigorous understanding of the principles being discussed, but to provide useful hints and tips gained from within the pharmaceutical industry. This expertise, combined with project case studies, highlighting and discussing all areas of successful projects, make this an essential handbook for all those involved in pharmaceutical development. A free app has been created in collaboration with the editors of the book. The Medicinal Chemistry Toolkit provides a suite of resources to support the day to day work of a medicinal chemist. Search the App store for "Medicinal Chemistry Toolkit."

Recommended Reading
2015-01-15 An Introduction to Drug Synthesis OUP Oxford
ISBN 9780198708438 ISBN-13 9780198708438

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

As per booklist

Journal Resources

As identified during coursework

URL Resources

As identified during coursework

Other Resources

Module Lecture Notes


Additional Information