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Why creating a medicine is like solving a very complex jigsaw puzzle

How does a scientist go about searching for a new drug? It all starts with a hypothesis, says Mark Noe, VP of Worldwide R&D at Pfizer.

“Drugs are not simply found. Drugs are invented,”

Often times the discover process starts very simply when a scientist through their research might surmise that a certain protein is involved with a specific disease. That jumping-off point is the start of the puzzle, and takes researchers to a point where they are screening thousands or even millions of compounds in order to find ones that can bind to the protein and change its function. Those changes, at a much further point down the line, could result in a new medicine with life-changing possibilities.

Since humans cannot see these interactions, scientists use technologies including 3D visualization and protein crystallography to test their assumptions in the lab. See how Mark Noe and his team at Pfizer are using these techniques to create medical breakthroughs.