PharmaGuide Ltd, Cambridge
drug discovery course

Drug discovery courses


How the Drug Discovery Industry Works

This course, designed for personnel within organisations that deal with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, has been delivered in various formats since 2004. Delegates have come biotechnology hubs, recruitment agencies, university technology transfer departments and providers of scientific, financial, and legal services.


It is normally available through OBN’s BioLearn as a half day course delivered in person, but was run as a shorter online version during the COVID-19 restrictions.


A bespoke version of the course is also available for technical and medical translators and for organisations who want the content tailored to their specific interests.

Course outline


The drug discovery and development is highly complex and involves many players. Some course attendees, particularly those without a scientific background, may therefore find some of the jargon quite daunting.   

 The drug discovery course is designed with these issues in mind and presents an overview of the key elements in drug discovery and development while making allowances for different levels of background knowledge. Questions and comments are encouraged throughout; in fact, valuable discussions often arise from the contributions of delegates who have specific expertise relevant to the course content.


Introductory overview


The Commercial Landscape

Global pharmaceutical sales
Market breakdown
Pharma companies


Drug Discovery & Development

Therapeutic areas
Different types of drug molecule
Drug discovery pipeline
Regulatory agencies
Preclinical development
Clinical trials
Registration and marketing

Industry challenges

Market pressures and pricing
Rare diseases and orphan drugs
IP and Generics
Increasing R&D productivity


Modern biopharma R&D

Drug targets: genomics etc
Small molecule discovery
Large molecule discovery
Cell and gene therapy
Targeted protein degradation
Machine learning/AI


Further reading

Delegate feedback


“I would like to give some feedback on Ed's sessions. I totally loved them. He is really good and the content is top. I really hope we have more sessions like this in the future. Really amazing talk!” Delegate AI company

“Our team had an excellent day and all took something positive from the course, we certainly are far better prepared to handle future projects within the industry. Ed was an excellent teacher, and went at a pace that allowed us to take everything in, whilst still covering the entire drug production process - we highly recommend the course.” Laurence Emmett, Director, Cranleigh Scientific
"The training was exactly what we wanted for our staff member who now has a rounded appreciation of the pharma / biotech industry, understands the R&D process and has a good understanding of the science behind the scenes. In her role as a science recruiter she is now able to identify strong candidates by intelligently spotting keywords and techniques on CVs whilst also interviewing people at a more in depth, technical level. Fantastic results - I can highly recommend PharmaGuide’s services." Ajay Patel, Recruitment Operations Manager, CK Science

“Shortly after attending the course I had a meeting with one of our biotech clients who later complimented me on my grasp of technical language. The day spent in Cambridge learning about the drug discovery business was definitely worthwhile!” Alex Malocca, Great Guns Marketing
"I do recommend this workshop. I attended last year and it was superb. Although he starts very slowly, explaining basic chemistry concepts (which I knew as I used to be a very good student and now I am just lazy), it gathers pace once it gets to the drugs themselves. I can say I learned a lot and it has been a great help as I do lots of work on clinical trials and clinical studies. It was worth every penny." Ana Luiza Iaria, MSc, MCIL, MITI.

“The course was well-paced and timed with opportunities for participants to ask questions and clarification of key points, and these were all answered during the day. There was a positive and friendly atmosphere throughout, and my impression was that all the translators present enhanced their learning and understanding of chemistry and were very satisfied with the event.” Miriam Bianco, York ITI group (for a fuller review, see link)

The drug discovery course for translators has been reviewed in the ITI Bulletin download article and in a 2014 blog by Katarzyna Slobodzian-Taylor of Mastermind Translations.