Harnessing innovative technology in drug discovery

Merck scientists explain how new technologies can accelerate the drug discovery process as we use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives

November 16, 2023

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Our scientists are leveraging state-of-the-art capabilities to discover novel molecules that may lead to the medicines of tomorrow. 

Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) scientists evaluate hundreds to thousands to up to billions of compounds to find a starting point for a new drug candidate. It all starts with identifying a target — usually a protein — that’s intrinsically associated with a particular disease and can be pharmacologically modulated. That’s where innovative tools like structure-based design, high-throughput screening and high-throughput experimentation, coupled with robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning can make a huge difference in progressing the work. And once a lead molecule is identified, cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) as an emerging structural method can be used to understand and improve how a molecule interacts with the protein target.

Utilizing the latest technologies and diligent work by teams of highly skilled and experienced scientists can potentially accelerate the discovery of new medicines for patients in need.

“We have an incredibly creative, smart and hardworking workforce. It’s an absolute pleasure to be part of that and to have access to the resources necessary for making scientific breakthroughs.”

— Adam Weinglass

Executive director in quantitative biosciences