Drug Discovery, Development, & Commercialization

by Amy Studer – January 26, 2022

MedicationMedication” by Gatis Gribusts CC BY-NC 2.0

This guide is designed to support drug discovery, development, and commercialization efforts of researchers, students, faculty, and staff at UC Davis.


Off-campus Access

To access library-licensed e-resources (e.g., full-text articles, databases, and ebooks) from off-campus, please use the UCD Library VPN (Pulse Secure) or the UCDH Cisco AnyConnect VPN. For details see: Access VPN

Each library-licensed e-resource in this guide has [VPN] added to its title.

Amy Studer

Health Sciences Librarian



In this Guide:

As the official provider of FDA label information (package inserts), DailyMed provides trustworthy information about marketed drugs in the United States. The over 8,000 drug records link to related government websites, such as: FDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals & Safety Alerts; ClinicalTrials.gov; and LactMed.

This Web site provides a standard, comprehensive, up-to-date, look-up and download resource of medication content and labeling found in medication package inserts. The drug labeling information on this Web site is the most recent submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and currently in use; it may include, for example, strengthened warnings undergoing FDA review or minor editorial changes. Access to archived labels is provided.

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The FDA website includes information about human drugs, vaccines, blood products and biologics, medical devices, plus veterinary and animal drugs. Information is provided about the regulatory process. Home page links to specific content for health consumers, providers, researchers, and industry.

NLM Drug Information Portal
Provides cross-database search by drug name or category for multiple NLM and US Government resources: Drugs@FDA, DailyMed, PubChem, TOXNET, ClinicalTrials.gov. This enables navigation to drug and dietary supplement labels, drug structure and physical property information, and FDA approval documents.

IBM Micromedex [VPN]
Databases available via the MicroMedexHealth link are: P&T Quik Reports, Physicians Desk Reference (PDR), Martindale International drug information – including investigational and herbal drugs, POISINDEX, and DRUGDEX (Consults and Evaluations), MSDS from USP, POISINDEX, REPRORISK, DESEASEDEX (General and Emergency), Alternative Medicine, TOMES, RED BOOK, and NeoFax .
These databases provide information on drugs including: administration, adverse effects, clinical applications, contraindications, dosage, indications, interactions, over-dosage, pharmacology, precautions, product/substance identification, toxicity, references, synonyms, and uses.For drug pricing information, use RED BOOK. From the Micromedex homepage –> select “Other tools” in the top menu.

Facts & Comparisons eAnswers [VPN]
This is an important drug databases for pharmacists, physicians and other clinicians. Includes dosing tools, clinical calculators, and information about drugs, orphan drugs, and off-label use.

(USP-NF) United States Pharmacopeia National Formulary [Scroll down UC Davis Library record to “View Online” public notes area for login information]
USP–NF is a combination of two compendia, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and the National Formulary (NF). Monographs for drug substances, dosage forms, and compounded preparations are featured in the USP. Monographs for dietary supplements and ingredients appear in a separate section of the USP. Excipient monographs are in the NF.

For additional resources, see Drug Development tab.

SciFinder Scholar [VPN]
Requires registration–see SciFinder Tutorials. This is a great place to start looking for information about a drug product’s active ingredients, formulation, and excipients because it covers the chemical literature and patent literature. SciFinder is the comprehensive database for scholarly research in the field of chemistry. It contains over 29 million citations from over 10,000 journals, covering all aspects of chemistry, including chemical aspects of: biology and life sciences, engineering and materials science, food science, geology, medicine, physics, and polymer science. SciFinder also allows searching of chemical substances, chemical reactions, and includes some property data and spectra. Cited Reference Searching: 1996 – present. Coverage: 1907 – present (with selected pre-1907 material).

PubChem: Open Chemistry Database
PubChem provides information on the biological activities of small molecules in three main databases: PcBioassay, PcCompound, adn PcSubstance. PubChem is integrated with Entrez, NCBI’s primary search engine, and also provides compound neighboring, sub/superstructure, structure, targets, BioActivity data, and patents.

ChemID Plus
A free database of 350,000 chemical compounds. Records consist of name, synonyms, CAS number, molecular formula, similar structures and 3D viewer. Part of the TOXNET suite of databases.

BIOSIS Previews [VPN]
Searches literature from the biological sciences. More than 23 million records in all life science areas, including agriculture, biochemistry, biomedicine, biotechnology, ecology, environmental sciences, genetics, microbiology, plant biology, veterinary medicine & pharmacology, and zoology. Indexes over 6000 journals, serials, books and book chapters, conference proceedings and patents. Coverage: 1926 to present.

US government-provided databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. TOXNET has been retired as of December 16, 2019; however, many of the former TOXNET databases have been incorporated into other NLM resources.

SciFinder Scholar Tutorials

SciFinder Registration
You must register for a SciFinder account before you can use the database. (login to VPN to access registration page from off-campus)

One-Time Registration (on-campus):

1. Go to the UC SciFinder website, under “New User?” select Davis (UCD).

2. Review the instructions for creating a username/password, click the registration link at end of the page. You must register with your “ucdavis.edu” email account.

3. When you receive a confirmation email, click the link in the message to complete the registration. Check your spam folder if you do not see the confirmation email in your inbox.

4. Once you have an account, logon to SciFinder.

One-Time Registration (off-campus):
First, log in thru the VPN, then complete steps 1-3 above.

SciFinder Training Materials
Short video tutorials about searching for structures, literature, and reactions.


For additional resources, see the Drug Discovery tab.

Drugs@FDA allows you to search for official information about FDA approved brand name and generic drugs and therapeutic biological products. The main uses of Drugs@FDA are:

  • Finding labels for approved drug products
  • Finding generic drug products for a brand name drug product
  • Finding therapeutically equivalent drug prducts for a brand name or generic drug product
  • Finding consumer information for drugs approved from 1998 on
  • Finding all drugs with a specific active ingredient
  • Viewing the approval history of a drug

FDA: Drug Approvals & Databases
Serves as a portal for FDA drug approval and reporting systems, including:

  • Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS)
  • Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (Orange Book)
  • Bioresearch Monitoring Information System (BMIS)
  • Clinical Investigator Inspection List (CLIIL)
  • Dissolution Methods Database
  • Drug Establishments Current Registration Site
  • Drugs@FDA
  • Inactive Ingredient Search for Approved Drug Products
  • National Drug Code Directory
  • Orange Book (Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations)
  • Postmarket Requirements and Commitments

Embase [VPN]
Embase is a biomedical and pharmacological database containing bibliographic records with citations, abstracts, and indexing derived from biomedical articles in peer-reviewed journals, and is especially strong in its coverage of medical device, drug and pharmaceutical research, and conference abstracts. Excellent source of articles related to post-market research. MEDLINE results are included along with significant unique content with international coverage. Embase contains over 37 million records spanning 1974-present. Search tools include a specialized drug search interface and a pharmacovigilance wizard (PV Wizard).

ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. The FDA requires registration of clinical trials and reporting of basic results and adverse event data for drug and device trials.

PubMed is the National Library of Medicine’s search service that provides access to over 33 million biomedical literature citations from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Provides a good entry point for navigation to the NCBI bioinformatics databases containing genetic and genomic information, tools, and data. Coverage: 1946 to present.

Scopus [VPN]
Scopus indexes, selectively abstracts, and provides citation analysis for approximately 25,000 peer-reviewed journals from more than 5,000 international publishers, as well as published sets of conference proceedings, trade publications, books, patents (from the USPTO, European Patent Office, Japan Patent Office, World Intellectual Property Organization and the UK Intellectual Property Office) and millions of selected web pages. Coverage extends across disciplines in the life and health sciences, the physical sciences, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities. Scopus features tools to track, analyze, and visualize research.

Web of Science [VPN]
Provides article and citation searching in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities via: Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts and Humanities Citation Index. Indexed materials include research data, books, journals, proceedings, publications and patents. Coverage: 1900 – present.

Embase Tutorials

Embase search tips:

  • Try using the “Drug” search option, from the “Search” dropdown menu.
  • On the results page, note the filter options, including drug-related floating subheadings.

Embase Quick User Guide

How do I search in Embase?

Embase Video Tutorials

In addition to these resources, don’t forget to take a look at drug company websites.

Factiva [VPN]
Factiva provides access to global news and business information, including local newspapers, same-day newswires, company reports, and media programs. Provides company information including market data and competitors. Includes full-text of the Wall Street Journal. Coverage in more than 20 languages.
*To increase relevance, limit results to the pharmaceutical industry.

Statista [VPN]
Statista is a statistics portal that provides access to data on many different topics (including health, pharma, and med-tech). Data sources include government agencies and industries, which are packaged into reports, market outlooks, and infographics. The focus on current (not historical) statistics. Data is downloadable in Excel, PowerPoint, and JPG.

Business Source Complete [VPN]
Provides full text for more than 7,400 scholarly business journals and other sources, including peer-reviewed business publications. Coverage includes all subject areas related to business including management, economics, finance, accounting, international business, marketing and more. Coverage: varies by title with some going as far back as 1886.

Nexis Uni [VPN]
One of the largest web-based full-text databases for current news, business and legal information, supporting a broad range of interdisciplinary research, Nexis Uni (known until December 2017 as LexisNexis Academic) provides full-text access to nearly 6,000 individual titles. Includes a wide range of U.S. and foreign newspapers, plus transcripts of television and radio news programs. Business resources include business articles, accounting literature, company financial information. Legal resources include state and federal laws and regulations, a full range of case law, and law review articles.

Patent Databases

Patents are a good source for information on drug chemistry as well as manufacturing processes.

A Few Quick Options:

SEARCH Google Patents 

SEARCH Find Free Patents Online (FPO) — find pdfs of selected patents

SEARCH SciFinder Scholar


US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Resources:

SEARCH the USPTO Patent Databasefor granted patents and patent applications

International Patent Resources:

SEARCH the EPO Patent Database — esp@cenet

SEARCH WIPO Patent Applications Database —  Patentscope

Browse Journal Table of Contents

Library Catalogs

To search the entire collection, go to Library Catalog tab in the Library Search tool.

  • Journals
    Search for journals in the UC Davis Library catalog by title or category.
  • Library Search
    Select “Library Catalog” from the menu. Searches UC Davis Library holdings.

UC Library Search

The eBooks listed on this page are just a few of the holdings at UC Davis Library.  To search the entire collection, use UC Library Search, the integrated library catalog which includes the library collections of all UC campuses. UC Library Search can be found on the homepage of the UC Davis Library website.

Search options include:

  • UC Libraries + Articles
  • UC Libraries
  • UC Davis Library

Login to “My Account” to view your access and request options, as well as monitor your current loans and requests.

UC Library Search Tips and FAQs

UC Library Search: User Guide

Selected eBooks

To get to these eBooks, you must access from a UC Davis networked computer or be logged onto the Library VPN (Pulse Secure).

Drug Development Process Image

Image credit:  Kate Marusina, PhD, MBA, Director of Clinical Trials, UC Davis Clinical and Translational Sciences Center.  Used with permission.    

Making Medicines: The Process of Drug Development
Access to this course is provided as a gift from Lilly — individual registration required. For access problems, contact: CourseHelpDesk@hcg-int.com

During this course, you will:

  • Gain deeper insights into the drug discovery and development process
  • Describe the regulatory environment under which drugs are developed
  • Learn how patient insights inform drug development and clinical trials
  • Identify key stakeholders, including healthcare providers, and their contributions in drug development

Training in Neurotherapeutics Discovery and Development
In addition to providing content for a course offered by Michael Rogawski, MD and collaborators, includes other resources for learning about the process of drug discovery and development.

Thanks to the following librarians:  Penny Coppernoll-Blach at the Biomedical LIbrary, UC San Diego; Edith Starbuck and Kristen Burgess at the University of Cininnati Libraries; and, Adam Seigel, Cory Craig, Bruce Abbott, and Axel Borg from the UC Davis Library.