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New medicines special interest group

Drugs developed from small molecules are increasingly playing an important role in therapeutics, with many becoming newly approved drugs (42 newly approved as New Molecular Entities vs 17 Biologics License Applications in 2018). Conventional structure-activity relationship studies as well as drug design using artificial intelligence are being developed in order to discover drug candidates.

Thousands of compounds have been isolated from natural products, developed into pharmaceuticals and are used in medicinal chemistry research with the aim of providing new molecular structure entities. Evidence-based approaches in the scientific study of herbal medicines will aid in the proper development and use of natural products.
Biotechnology-based pharmaceutical products have been the focus of drugs recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for various treatments. Research efforts focused on pharmaceutical biotechnology have recently intensified, including in bioanalytical methods, biomarkers, biosimilars, protein interactions, cell therapies (e.g. stem cell transplantation), gene therapies (e.g. CRISPR technology) and vaccines.

Interdisciplinary research efforts are highly crucial in the promotion of team science by bridging silos in the scientific community and addressing multifactorial problems in research. This supports the importance of linking these research areas described above to the area of pharmacology so that we can understand how these newly developed medicines act in the body.

The Special Interest Group on New Medicines will provide a platform for the discussion of a wide range of research topics in the pharmaceutical sciences related to drug discovery and development. Importantly, this includes early stage drug development, with research areas in medicinal chemistry, natural medicines, pharmacology, cell and gene therapies and biologics. Synergy of these topics will corroborate the important role of pharmacists in health care, with new insights in emerging trends in drug discovery and development.

Recent activity

Assoc Prof. Michiho Ito of Kyoto University, Japan, and chair of FIP’s Focus Group on Natural Products and Traditional Medicines, has made 20 short videos describing the medicinal plants grown in the Experimental Station for Medicinal Plants, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, and uploaded them to a new YouTube channel. These videos, in Japanese, can also be viewed with subtitles in Chinese, English, French and Vietnamese here.

We’ve also posted videos introducing the Board of Pharmaceutical Science and the Special Interest Group on New Medicines:

  • Introduction to BPS
  • Introduction to the Special Interest Group on New Medicines (in collaboration with the Early Career Pharmaceutical Group and the special interest groups on drug delivery & manufacturing and new generation of pharmaceutical scientists)
  • Combatting Malaria: New horizon of vaccines and drug discovery by young pharmaceutical scientists (in collaboration with and the special interest groups on new generation of pharmaceutical scientists (NGPS SIG) and the Early Career Pharmaceutical Group (ECPG)

How we work

The special interest group is chaired by Prof. Takuya Kumamoto (Hiroshima University, Japan).

Four focus groups have been set up on specific areas:

  •    Natural products and traditional medicines, chaired by Prof. Michiho Ito (Japan)
  •    Pharmacology, chaired by Dr Chun-Wai Mai (Malaysia)
  •    Biologics, chaired by Ms Juliet Obi (USA, Nigeria)
  •    Cell and gene therapies

Annual report

The 2023 annual report of the SIG on New Medicines can be found here.


For more information about this group or to get involved, email

Last update 11 June 2024

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