Updated: Jul 20
SwiftSCIENCE And The Drug Discovery Process
Drug discovery is a complex and multi-faceted process that involves identifying target diseases, finding biological markers associated with those diseases, and developing drugs to treat them. This process often begins with basic scientific research where scientists study various aspects of diseases at the cellular and molecular level to understand the underlying mechanisms that cause them. They aim to identify potential targets – typically proteins or receptors – that are involved in the progression of the disease.
Once these targets have been identified by scientists, the next step in the drug discovery process is known as drug design and screening. Here, scientists aim to create and identify compounds that can interact with these targets in a way that is therapeutically beneficial. This process typically involves creating and screening thousands to millions of compounds to find ones that show promise. These promising compounds are then further optimized and tested extensively by researchers to ensure that they are safe and effective.
Clinical trials, the final stage in the drug discovery process, involve testing these potential drugs in humans. This is a rigorous process with several phases that test the safety, efficacy, and optimal dosage of the drug. After a successful series of trials, the drug can be approved by regulatory bodies like the FDA and made available for public use.
SwiftSCIENCE plays a profound vital role in this this long, expensive, and time-consuming process. The SwiftSENSE video monitoring solution enables researchers to accelerate and enhance identification and tracking of specific behaviors in laboratory animals – in this context, mice. These behaviors serve as crucial markers for disease progression or for the effectiveness of a potential drug. The following graphic shows an overview of the entire drug discovery process, and the significant portion of the process that SwiftSCIENCE contributes to.
In the discovery process, SwiftSCIENCE’s system, SwiftSENSE, observes and records the animals’ behavior, collecting and processing the data for further analysis. This technology provides researchers with invaluable insights in less time, helping to accurately identify behaviors linked to certain conditions or treatments. For example, in studies of substance withdrawal, certain repetitive behaviors in mice can indicate the presence of withdrawal symptoms.
SwiftSCIENCE does not stop at merely collecting and processing data; they also work collaboratively with researchers to optimize data presentation and outputs. They assist in automating the quantification of behaviors, significantly increasing the speed and accuracy of the research process. They also provide manual behavior detection, allowing for the capturing of specific behaviors in the first study, which can then be automated in future research.
In this way, SwiftSCIENCE plays a pivotal role in the drug discovery process, providing researchers with tools and support to aid in understanding diseases better and fast-tracking the development of new treatments. In our next blog post, we will interview a researcher at West Virginia University about the benefits of SwiftSCIENCE in his lab, including new results that are “undiscoverable” without SwiftSCIENCE.