Queen's University
PHAR 480 Drug Discovery and Development

Course Offering TBD

This survey course covers the life-cycle of a pharmaceutical product including, drug discovery, development, and its transition to a generic or over-the-counter medication. Specific themes include target identification, design and synthesis, in vitro and in vivo efficacy determination, biochemical and biological optimization, preclinical safety assessment, clinical trials, and generics and over-the-counter medications as well as the social and economic pressures exerted upon the pharmaceutical industry.

Note: May not be taken for credit towards the requirements of the LISC Specialization Plans.

For BHSc students

Minimum 4th year (Level 4) standing and PHAR 270/3.0 and PHAR 380/3.0 or permission of the instructor.

For non-BHSc students

One of PHAR 230/3.0, PHAR 340/3.0, PHAR 416/3.0 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

For non-BHSc students

DDHT 459/3.0 and DDHT 460/3.0

This course cannot be used as credit towards the Life Sciences Specialization Plan (DDHT)

After completing PHAR 480, students will be able to:

  1. Develop solutions to drug discovery/development problems to discuss either orally or in writing solutions to these problems.
  2. Critically analyze the social and economic implications of legislative decisions pertaining to the pharmaceutical industry to argue a particular side of this these decisions.
  3. To develop and refine professional interpersonal communication skills
  4. To develop an understanding of the biologic, social, and economic constraints that influence drug discovery and drug development.
  1. Communicator
  2. Scholar
  3. Professional
  4. Collaborator

All assessments will be graded using marking rubrics.

Assessment 1 – Group Presentations (x2) (40% total)

In a small group, students will be provided with problems pertaining to the pharmaceutical industry, in which they will develop critical thinking skills by debating opposing views of the subject theme.  This debate will take place during a synchronous discussion monitored by the instructor or a TA and will be based on information learned in online modules and independent research of the primary literature. As part of this assessment, students in the audience will need to participate in discussion, for which students will be evaluated on quality and professionalism of his/her feedback (5% total)

Assessment 2 – Group Summary Report (x10) (30% total)

Students that are not presenting the problem topic are expected to, instead, prepare a succinct 1-2 page report on the same subject matter.

Assessment 3 – Current Topics in the Pharmaceutical Industry (5%)

Working individually, students will need to identify, in the popular media, a topic related to recent events in the pharmaceutical industry. The expectation is that the student will conduct independent research to analyze the relevant themes of the event underscoring the critical social, and/or economic implications. Students will be expected to post a brief presentation (5-10 min; voice over slides) that will be posted in onQ. Other students in the group will have a week to comment on this presentation. Student’s comments will be evaluated on quality and professionalism.

Assessment 4 – Final Exam (25%)

The final exam will include well-designed, thematic case-based multiple choice questions and short answer questions that will test the students’ overall understanding and application of the course material, rather than rote memorization.

9–10 hours a week (108–120 hours per term).

Required Texts

PHAR 480 course notes via modules posted online and the instructor will provide published review articles.