The Drug Discovery and Development Process

The Drug Discovery and Development Process
Designed to bridge the gap between science and business, this mini-course covers both an introduction to drug discovery and an advanced look at drug development.
Buy Course - 99.00 USD

Course Outline

Welcome - Mini-course Objectives

  1. Welcome to The Business of Modern Drug Discovery and Development

Mini-course: The Drug Discovery and Development Process

  1. Mini-course Intro
  2. Section 1  – Steps and Timelines for the Life of a Drug
  3. Section 2 – DD&D Costs and Likelihood of Success
  4. Section 3 – Drugs and the New Biology
  5. Section 4 – Delving into the Cost Details
  6. Section 5 – A Closer Look at Drug Development Cost
  7. Section 6 – A Primer On How to Calculate Net Present Value
  8. Section 7 – Cost of Capital for DD&D
  9. Section 8 – Why the Cost of Drug Development Can Be Very Low For Small Biotechs

Downloadable Mini-course Material

  1. Mini-course textbook - The Drug Discovery & Development Process
  2. 10 top trends driving the biopharma industry today
  3. Novel Drug Approvals Over The Years
  4. What Is the Real Drug Development Cost for Very Small Biotech Companies
  5. The Rapid Rise of Biotechnology
  6. Big Pharma Issues and Strategy in a Single Visual

Certificate of Completion Exam

  1. Mini-course Exam
  2. Certificate of Completion Exam

About the Course

NOTE: Some of the content that appears in this standalone mini-course also appears in our more comprehensive 101 course – Beyond the Science: The Business of Drug Development.


This mini-course covers both an introduction to drug discovery and development and an advanced look at drug development.

Basic topics include: steps in the clinical trial process, overview of cost and timelines for discovery and development, and likelihood of success, the “new biology,” and types of drugs from the new biology.

Advanced topics include: a brief look at industry issues that will lead to new strategies, financial details of the clinical trial process, the importance of failed drugs and cost of capital, and why development costs for small biotech companies may be much less than for big pharma.

Included in the mini-course:

  • Three week access to online mini-course and videos
  • Full access to all mini-course slides and materials
  • Digital mini-course mini-text book - The Drug Discovery and Development Process
  • Mini-course certificate - upon successful completion of course exam
  • Access to research articles
    • 10 Trends Driving the BioPharma Industry Today
    • Novel Drug Approvals Over the Years
    • What Is the Real Drug Development Cost for Very Small Biotech Companies
    • The Rapid Rise of Biotechnology
    • Big Pharma Issues and Strategy in a Single Visual

Course Run time: Approximately 45 minutes to complete the mini-course plus time for handouts and optional assessment
Skill Level: Appropriate for both newcomers to the industry and those with an intermediate understanding of the life science business model

From a former student of Dr. Klotz:

"As a former student of Prof. Lynn Klotz from Harvard Extension School, I found The Business of Drug Discovery and Development online lecture series refreshing and to the point. The contents are up-to-date and easy to follow even for those not already familiar with the topics; the slides are pertinent with ample references and the narration is lucid. The downloadable materials, including a full summary of the slides, will come handy. I highly recommend the Series to anyone wanting to know more about the business of drug making."
John Chun, PhD

Each online mini-course is equivalent to about 2-3 live classroom lectures.

Purchase of any mini-course in this series provides several resources:

  • The mini-course with dozens of visuals and audios
  • A mini-textbook of the mini-course material, yours to download and keep
  • Several handouts to supplement both the mini-course and mini-textbook
  • A Certificate of Completion for those who pass a simple exam on key points

The mini-courses feature both basic material and advanced material, depending on how deeply you wish to pursue a topic.

There are several ways to learn:


  • Look and listen to get a general overview of the topic
  • Study the material by stopping frequently as you go through the mini-course
  • Read the mini-textbook to supplement the mini-course and to keep as a future reference
  • Delve deeply into a topic by reading the handouts and accessing directly the Internet address references on your screen
  • Arrange for an Office Hours session with the lecturer as an earlier adopter

More feedback can be found here: https://biopharmadive.schoolkeep.com/feedback

About the Instructors

Lynn Klotz

Lynn Klotz, Co-Managing Director and Chief Science Officer

Lynn C. Klotz was formerly an Assistant and Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University (1971-1979) and a visiting Associate Professor at Princeton University (1979-1981). At Harvard, he was a recipient of the prestigious Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar grant for teaching excellence. He recently served as Research Scholar at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

He was a founder and board member of BioTechnica International (1981-1988)-an agricultural and natural products company. While at BioTechnica, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the publisher Charles Scribner's Sons, along with co-author Edward Sylvester, for the 1983 book The Gene Age: Genetic Engineering and the Next Industrial Revolution.

In the fall of 2011 and 2012, Dr. Klotz taught a graduate-level Harvard Extension Course, BIOT E-210, Biotechnology and Drug Development: Tools for Business.

William Diehl

William Diehl, ​Co-Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer

William C. Diehl, Ph.D. is Coordinator of Online Graduate Programs in the Adult Education program and Assistant Professor at The Pennsylvania State University at University Park, PA. Dr. Diehl serves as Interviews Editor for The American Journal of Distance Education, and is an expert reviewer for other academic journals. He is the founder of the International Museum of Distance Education and Technology project.

Additionally, Diehl is a consultant in the corporate, higher education and government sectors. Professional experience also includes work as a K-12 teacher, web designer and developer, instructional designer, and multimedia specialist.