Drug Discovery Case History

A guide for authors submitting to the Expert Collection

Word limit

4000–7000 words.

Every article must contain

All article types should have a concise, informative title that contains no brand names

Including address, academic qualifications and job titles of all authors, as well as telephone number, fax number and email address of the author for correspondence on a separate cover sheet as the peer reviewers will not be aware of the authors’ identity.

Please note that only the address of the first author of the article will appear on Medline/PubMed, not necessarily the corresponding author.

The aim of the abstract is to draw in the interested reader and provide an accurate reflection of the content of the paper. We therefore request the following structure is followed for special report articles:

Introduction: Authors are required to describe the significance of the topic under discussion.
Areas covered: Authors are required to describe the research discussed and the literature search undertaken.
Expert Opinion: Authors are required to summarize briefly their Expert Opinion section.

References must not be included in the abstract.

A brief list of keywords, in alphabetical order, is required to assist indexers in cross-referencing. The keywords will encompass the therapeutic area, mechanism(s) of action, key compounds and so on.

Describe the basis for the initiation of the project and the blueprint for the targeted molecule, and outline the salient features of the disease and current therapy available. What was the initial concept, why was the compound needed? Areas such as medical need, business strategy, intellectual property issues, market issues, etc., may be discussed. A timeline of the key events in the drug’s discovery and development should be provided to aid the reader in following the subsequent discussion.

Discovery strategy and preclinical development:
A detailed analysis of the identification and validation of the compound under discussion. Depending on the nature of the strategies used, this may cover target identification and validation, library screening, assay development, PK/PD, ADME-Tox, in vitro work, animal studies, modelling, translational medicine and so on. An overview should be provided of the methods used, the rationale for their use and the results obtained. Points of diversion from classical development pathways, new technologies, registration strategies and other novel aspects should be highlighted. Detail of the studies need not be as extensive as that required for an original paper but must contain sufficient description of the protocols and outcomes, so that the reader can make appropriate comparison with his/her own experience. For a detailed description of the methods and data, readers should be referred to the original work. Details of any patents filed should be provided here. The section can end with a discussion of the preclinical to clinical transition, which leads logically into the next section. This section should form the main focus of the article.

Clinical development:
This section should highlight key trials and data leading to the launch of the drug. Again, this should be presented as an overview in which readers can be referred to original papers for detail.

A discussion of key events following the launch of the drug; for example, postmarketing data, studies on market, safety and pharmacovigilance, success of the drug, what are its main competitors, is the drug due to come off patent, controversial issues arising since the drug’s launch.

The Expert Opinion section should be between 500 and 1000 words. 

The author’s opinion of the discovery and development strategies used:

1. What worked well and what didn’t?
2. What could have been done differently?
3. What has been learnt from this experience/how might the same strategies be applied elsewhere?

Please note that ‘opinions’ are encouraged in the Expert Opinion section, and as such, referees are asked to keep this in mind when peer reviewing the manuscript.

Please provide, in the form of a bulleted list (five or six points), statements covering the key aspects of the paper.

A maximum of 100 references is suggested.

Ensure that all key work relevant to the topic under discussion is cited in the text and listed in the bibliography.

Reference to unpublished data should be kept to a minimum and authors must obtain a signed letter of permission from cited persons to use unpublished results or personal communications in the manuscript.

Important references should be highlighted with a one/two star system and brief annotations should be given (see the journal’s Instructions for Authors page for examples and for a more detailed description of our referencing style).

Up to five figures and five tables are permitted. For further information on tables and figures, please see our formatting guide.

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