Discovery is the identification

Discovery is the identification of novel active chemical compounds, often called «hits», which are typically found by assay of compounds for a desired biological activity. Initial hits can come from repurposing existing agents toward a new pathologic processes, and from observations of biologic effects of new or existing natural products from bacteria, fungi, plants, etc. In addition, hits also routinely originate from structural observations of small molecule «fragments» bound to therapeutic targets (enzymes, receptors, etc.), where the fragments serve as starting points to develop more chemically complex forms by synthesis. Finally, hits also regularly originate from en-masse testing of chemical compounds against biological targets, where the compounds may be from novel synthetic chemical libraries known to have particular properties (kinase inhibitory activity, diversity or drug-likeness, etc.), or from historic chemical compound collections or libraries created through combinatorial chemistry. While a number of approaches toward the identification and development of hits exist, the most successful techniques are based on chemical and biological intuition developed in team environments through years of rigorous practice aimed solely at discovering new therapeutic agents.