New chemical entities (NCEs, also

New chemical entities (NCEs, also known as new molecular entities or NMEs) are compounds which emerge from the process of drug discovery. These will have promising activity against a particular biological target thought to be important in disease; however, little will be known about the safety, toxicity, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of this NCE in humans. It is the function of drug development to assess all of these parameters prior to human clinical trials. A further major objective of drug development is to make a recommendation of the dose and schedule to be used the first time an NCE is used in a human clinical trial («first-in-man» [FIM] or First Human Dose [FHD]).