In medicine, biotechnology and pharmacology, drug discovery is the process by which drugs are discovered and designed. In the recent past, most drugs have been discovered either by identifying the active ingredient from traditional remedies or by serendipitous discovery. A new approach, using so-called “rational drug design”, has been to understand how disease and infection are controlled at the molecular and physiological level and to target specific entities based on this knowledge. Given this importance, Rigaku has been at the forefront in the development of single crystal diffraction for both macromolecular and small molecule structure determination. Rigaku products range from automated crystallization and crystal imaging through crystal diffraction screening and high-resolution data collection systems to 3D structure refinement and imaging software.
X-ray powder diffraction is extensively used in the drug discovery, design, development and formulation processes to obtain critical knowledge about pharmaceutical products. Many parameters required by the FDA, legal patent issues and drug performance are only accessible by employing XRD. With the introduction of systems specifically developed with the pharmaceutical industry in mind, XRD is now both cost-effective and easy-to-use. Phase analysis and polymorph identification are common analytical needs within both pharmaceutical development and production. In addition, crystal structure determination, the study of non-ambient behavior, and overall morphology help to provide a complete understanding of the properties of a pharmaceutical agent.