PHAR 2010


Course Level


Offered Externally


Course ID


Unit Value


University-wide elective course

Course owner

Course owner
UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences

Course aim

To provide a comprehensive understanding of the drug discovery process including past, current and future trends in discovery and to develop skills in designing discovery, lead optimisation and preclinical development programs.

Course content

Overview of classical drug discovery, serendipitous discovery and the changing perspectives in drug discovery; role of traditional medicine knowledge in the development of new pharmaceutical agents; identification and validation of physiological targets for drug discovery; introduction to the biochemical and molecular basis of drug action; computational data mining, rational drug design and structure activity relationships; compound selection for drug discovery; combinatorial chemistry, natural products and product extracts as chemical starting points.  Radioactive, colorimetric, luminescent, fluorescent and label-free assay technologies for compound profiling; biotechnology and gene manipulation for biochemical and cell-based assay development; methods for the preclinial evaluation of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion; principles of toxicology and preclinical evaluation of drug safety; predicting the factors that may lead to the failure of a new drug candidate and maximising the chance of success; animal studies in drug discovery; case studies in drug discovery - success stories and failures.


R.G. Hill and H.P. Rang 2012, Drug Discovery and Development: Technology in Transition, Current edition, Churchill Livingstone (Elsevier)


Subject Area & Catalogue Number Course Name
Group 1
CHEM 1007 Chemistry 101
CHEM 1006 Chemistry 100



Teaching method

Component Duration
Lecture 1 hour x 13 weeks
Workshop 1 hour x 13 weeks
Tutorial 2 hours x 13 weeks

Note: These components may or may not be scheduled in every study period. Please refer to the timetable for further details.


Presentation, Report, Test/Quiz


EFTSL*: 0.125
Commonwealth Supported program (Band 2)
To determine the fee for this course as part of a Commonwealth Supported program, go to:
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Fee-paying program for domestic and international students
International students and students undertaking this course as part of a postgraduate fee paying program must refer to the relevant program home page to determine the cost for undertaking this course.

Non-award enrolment
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* Equivalent Full Time Study Load. Please note: all EFTSL values are published and calculated at ten decimal places. Values are displayed to three decimal places for ease of interpretation.

Course Coordinators

UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences

Degrees this course is offered in

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