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Drug Discovery: A History

Walter Sneader

ISBN: 978-0-471-89980-8 April 2005 472 Pages


Written by a leading authority with an excellent reputation, and ability for writing a good narrative, Drug Discovery: A History is a far cry from simply a list of chemical structures.

This lively new text considers the origins, development and history of medicines that generate high media interest and have a huge social and economic impact on society.

Set within a wide historical, social and cultural context, it provides expanded coverage of pre-twentieth century drugs, the huge advances made in the twentieth century and the latest developments in drug research.


  • Up-to-the-minute information in drug research
  • Vignettes of special and unusual information, and anecdotes
  • Discusses drug prototypes from all sources
  • More comprehensive than other volumes on history of drug discovery

Also available in paperback.

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Chapter 1 Introduction.

Part 1 Legacy Of The Past.

Chapter 2 The Prehistoric Period.

Chapter 3 Pre-Hellenic Civilisations.

Chapter 4 Greece and Rome.

Chapter 5 The Arab World.

Chapter 6 Herbals.

Chapter 7 Chemical Medecines.

Chapter 8 Systematic Medicine.

Part 2 Drugs From Naturally Occurring Prototypes.

Section I Phytochemicals.

Chapter 9 Alkaloids.

Chapter 10 Non-Alkaloid Plant Products.

Chapter 11 Plant Product Analogues and Compounds Derived From Them.

Section II Biochemicals.

Chapter 12 The Origins Of Hormone Therapy.

Chapter 13 Neurohormones.

Chapter 14 Peptide Hormones.

Chapter 15 Sex Hormones.

Chapter 16 Adrenal Cortex Hormones.

Chapter 17 Prostaglandins.

Chapter 18 Hormone Analogues.

Chapter 19 Vitamins.

Chapter 20 Antimetabolites.

Chapter 21 Blood and Biological Products.

Section III Drugs from Microorganisms.

Chapter 22 Antibiotics.

Chapter 23 Antibiotic Analogues.

Chapter 24 Pharmacodynamic Agents from Microorganisms.

Chapter 25 Analogues of Pharmacodynamic Agents from Fungi.

Part 3 Synthetic Drugs.

Chapter 26 The First Synthetic Drugs and Their Analogues.

Chapter 27 Drugs Originating from the Screening of Dyes.

Chapter 28 Drugs Originating from the Screening of Organic Chemicals.

Chapter 29 Drugs Discovered through Serendipitous Observations Involving Humans.

Chapter 30 Drugs Disocvered through Serendipity in the Laboratory.

Chapter 31 Concluding Remarks.
"... the book is of great value for everybody wanting to get brief, reliable information as well as for those using it as a starting point for further research."
Die Pharmazie - An International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Not simply a list of chemical reactions. Also includes social and cultural points of view.
  • Includes vignettes of special and unusual information, anecdotes.
  • Lively, narrative style and highly readable.
  • More comprehensive than other volumes on history of drugs.