The past 30 years of drug discovery have seen a procession of breakthrough technologies designed to improve the efficiency and overall success rate of drug discovery programs. Ironically, the fact that drug discovery remains a difficult and risky endeavor despite the use of these technologies has caused some to question the value of these technologies compared to more traditional biologically driven approaches towards drug discovery, with ezetimibe often cited as a case in point. The technological advances of the past decades have unquestionably had a profound and positive impact on the discovery process, and new technologies such as genomics, which played a pivotal role in elucidating the mechanism of action of ezetimibe, will likely continue to shape how we discovery drugs in the future. The fact that ezetimibe was discovered without the benefit of many of these technologies is less a testament to the relative value of biological versus technological approaches than it is a reaffirmation of the continued importance of science and scientists in drug discovery.
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