Bringing a new drug to patients is both a privilege and a challenge fraught with success and failure. A privilege
because there can be no greater calling than to alleviate suffering to enable a healthier life.
Without health, life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering—an image of death. Buddha
A challenge fraught with success and failure as no drug makes it from idea to patients without experiencing
success and failure.
Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill
Prof. Camille Wermuth recognized the need to capture in a single volume the essence of the disciplines
needed by medicinal chemists, so as to enable those just entering the field or the seasoned professional to keep
pace with the ever-changing nature of drug discovery and development. His vision became The Practice of
Medicinal Chemistry, providing the medicinal chemistry community with access to experts from across the industry
and academia who would share their knowledge to educate the community, thereby preparing the community
to recognize and seize opportunities as they emerged.
Fortune favors the prepared mind. Louis Pasteur
The fourth edition has built off the previous editions. It is updated to reflect developments over the last seven
years, including five new chapters on topics such as the evaluation of the biological activity of compounds and
systems biology. More than seventy experts from ten countries have shared their insights and perspectives on
the practice of medicinal chemistry.
The editorial work for the fourth edition has been shared by Camille Wermuth, Pierre Raboisson, Didier
Rognan, and Dave Aldous. Odile Blin helped organize and shape how we initiated the fourth edition; we are
indebted to her tireless professionalism. The editors wish to express their thanks to Molly M. McLaughlin and
the Elsevier Academic Press, who have worked with us to keep this project moving forward.
I believe my final quote—from Jason Calacanis—captures the challenges medicinal chemists face every day.