I missed putting this up last year, but once again I have a list of medicinal chemistry books of interest. As in years past, the list builds on previous recommendation posts, with updates and reader suggestions incorporated along the way.
For histories and broad overviews of the field, there have not been any recent additions. Earlier ones include 2011’s The Evolution of Drug Discovery, which still seems to be the biggest history of the field (its author, Jack Li also has a 2014 history of the industry, Blockbuster Drugs, looking at how things have been for previous last twenty years or so). There are case histories of individual drug projects to be found in Drugs: From Discovery to Approval by Rick Ng (2015 edition), and also in Walter Sneader’s Drug Discovery: A History. Longtime medicinal chemist Gene Cordes published Hallelujah Moments: Tales of Drug Discovery in 2014.
In general medicinal chemistry, the whopper reference set of the field published a third edition recently: Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry, edited by Sam Chackalamannil, Dave Rotella, and Simon Ward. I don’t expect anyone to buy the >$4000 set off this blog link, but I’ll be very happy with the Amazon commission if you do. More reasonably for home use, a recommendation from several readers is Textbook of Drug Design and Discovery by Krogsgaard-Larsen et al. Jack Li has Medicinal Chemistry for Practitioners coming out early in 2020. A new third edition of Drug Discovery and Development has just been published, edited by James O’Donnell. Another recent title recommended by readers is Translating Molecules into Medicines, on drug development in general.A title from 2016 is Small Molecule Medicinal Chemistry: Strategies and Technologies. From 2013, there’s Drug Discovery: Practices, Processes, and Perspectives, by (the prolific) Jack Li and E. J. Corey, and there’s also Bob Rydzewski’s Real World Drug Discovery: A Chemist’s Guide to Biotech and Pharmaceutical Research from 2008. Several readers here have also recommended earlier versions of Silverman’s medicinal chemistry book, now in its third edition: The Organic Chemistry of Drug Design and Drug Action. Readers have also recommended Camille Wermuth’s The Practice of Medicinal Chemistry, and it’s now in its fourth edition as of 2015. For getting up to speed, several readers recommend Graham Patrick’s An Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry (new edition as of 2017). Similarly, Medicinal Chemistry: The Modern Drug Discovery Process (Pearson Advanced Chemistry) is a recent introductory textbook that I found to be well written. Its author, Erland Stevens, runs a popular web-based med-chem training course as well.
More specific topics have their own monographs, such as the upcoming Fluorine in Life Sciences, A good one-stop-shop for fragment drug hunting is Fragment-Based Drug Discovery: Lessons and Outlook, and a related topic of interest is covered in the recent Biophysical Techniques for Drug Discovery. Similarly, there’s Advanced Methods in Structural Biology and NMR in Chemical Biology: Advances and Applications. A recent one (2017) is Practical Medicinal Chemistry with Macrocycles. On the thermodynamic side, there’s the recent Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Drug Binding. Other recent books that cover specific med-chem topics include Robert Copeland’s Evaluation of Enzyme Inhibitors in Drug Discovery: A Guide for Medicinal Chemists and Pharmacologists, which has gotten good reviews from readers here, Bioisosteres in Medicinal Chemistry by Brown et al. (also recommended by several readers), Scaffold Hopping in Medicinal Chemistry, Prodrugs and Targeted Delivery: Towards Better ADME Properties, Protein-Protein Interactions in Drug Discovery, and the recent Allosterism in Drug Discovery. Chemical biology types may well be interested in the recent Chemoselective and Bioorthogonal Ligation Reactions, which is a fast-moving field as well as the newly published Target Discovery and Validation.
I have not noted many recent books on process chemistry and scale-up. A recent textbook is Chemical Projects Scale Up: How to Go From Laboratory to Commercial. Another reader-recommended book is Practical Process Research and Development – A Guide for Organic Chemists by Neal Anderson (2012). Repic’s Principles of Process Research and Chemical Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry is older (1998), but comes recommended as well. In the Oxford Chemistry Primers series, there’s Process Development: Fine Chemicals from Grams to Kilograms by Graham Robinson and Stan Lee (presumably not the Marvel Comics Stan Lee, a joke the author has surely heard once or twice), and Process Development: Physiochemical Concepts by John Atherton and Keith Carpenter. The Pilot Plant Real Book by Francis McConville is subtitled “A Unique Handbook”, and it’s been recommended by readers with experience in that unique environment.
For chemists who want to brush up on their biology, Joseph Cannon’s Pharmacology for Chemists has also been recommended, and it looks like a completely new version has been published under the same title. Readers also recommended an earlier edition of this Terrence Kenakin book: A Pharmacology Primer: Techniques for More Effective and Strategic Drug Discovery, as well as his Pharmacology in Drug Discovery: Understanding Drug Response. A more advanced book on pharmacology, also reader-recommended, is Ehlert’s Affinity and Efficacy.
As has been the case for several years, Drug-Like Properties: Concepts, Structure Design and Methods from ADME to Toxicity Optimization by Kerns and Di, has been recommended by numerous readers as a textbook and reference (now in a 2016 edition). The same authors have also published Blood-Brain Barrier in Drug Discovery: Optimizing Brain Exposure of CNS Drugs and Minimizing Brain Side Effects for Peripheral Drugs. I should note that there’s a new edition of Goodman and Gilman’s classic The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, but I should also note that a review says that it’s had a good deal of useful material cut as compared to previous editions. More pharmacokinetics are to be found in Lead Optimization for Medicinal Chemists: Pharmacokinetic Properties of Functional Groups and Organic Compounds. On the clinical end of things, a well-reviewed textbook is Concepts in Clinical Pharmacokinetics. For getting up to speed in this area in general, there’s Pocket Guide: Pharmacokinetics Made Easy by Donald Birkett, which will give you some background to understand what’s going on, and the Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics Quick Guide, which has also been recommended. A recently updated textbooks is Clinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics.
In toxicology, the standard textbooks are Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons (now in a 2018 edition) and Hayes’ Principles and Methods of Toxicology (2014). Two weighty references are the Handbook of Toxicologic Pathology, and the more recently updated Comprehensive Guide to Toxicology in Nonclinical Drug Development (reader-recommended). Another book on toxicology in drug development is Preclinical Safety Evaluation of Biopharmaceuticals: A Science-Based Approach to Facilitating Clinical Trials, from 2008. There’s a new book in this field written for the educated-layman audience, Modern Poisons, which could well be interesting.
After posting the 2016 post in this series, readers also made suggestions for formulations. A recent entry in this field is Oral Formulation Roadmap (From Early Discovery to Development), and Pharmaceutical Preformulation and Formulation: A Practical Guide was also recommended. This is an area with a long list of increasingly specialized monographs available, so it’s hard to recommend further reading.
In general, statistics are a weak point with a lot of scientists. Jerrold Zar’s Biostatistical Analysis comes recommended by readers. For getting up to speed in this area, a well-reviewed textbook is Biostatistics: The Bare Essentials, and there’s also Essential Biostatistics: A Nonmathematical Approach. (As mentioned last time around, I remain curious how far a nonmathematical approach can take you in this area). A newly updated edition of Laboratory Statistics: Methods in Chemistry and Health Sciences has also been recently published.
Then there’s the informatics and computational field, and in these areas I hesitate to list anything more than just a few years old. Chemoinformatics For Drug Discovery was recommended as an introduction for those outside the field. Many other books in this area are starting to show their age, but a recent one is Applied Chemoinformatics: Tools and Methods. Bioinformatics has many other books choices as compared to chemistry. A recent introductory work is (appropriately) Introduction to Bioinformatics, and two computational resources are the R Bioinformatics Cookbook and the Bioinformatics with Python Cookbook.
That leads naturally to the broader computational chemistry field, where there’s the recently updated Introduction to Computational Chemistry, and In Silico Medicinal Chemistry, from Pipeline reader Nathan Brown. A new entry is Biomolecular Simulations in Structure-Based Drug Discovery. As for machine learning, I mentioned Deep Learning for the Life Sciences earlier this year as a good intro to the field,
For bridging the academia-industry gap, I can definitely recommend A Practical Guide to Drug Development in Academia, which has a lot of solid advice for academic researchers looking to get into the pharma world through their own research. I can also recommend Navigating the Path to Industry: A Hiring Manager’s Advice for Academics Looking for a Job in Industry. Both of these books are full of sound advice that people may find difficult to get elsewhere.
So that’s the list of