The research cycle starts with computational chemists who use molecular mechanics calculations, molecular dynamics simulations and quantum mechanics calculations to design small molecules capable of binding to desired targets on neurons or microglial cells.
Next, the synthetic organic chemists synthesize, purify and characterize the compounds, designing novel chemical syntheses for our compounds, since they are new chemical entities (i.e. compounds that have never been prepared before, by anyone).
Finally, in vivo biologists evaluate the compounds in models of disease. If the compounds are not good enough, they go back to the computational chemists for re-design. It’s an iterative process that undergoes many cycles before an optimized compound is achieved.