Pharm. Chemistry mainly includes organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and analytical chemistry.
Organic chemistry mainly focuses on the chemical reactions (with their respective mechanisms) which are employed in the synthesis and chemical properties of different classes of organic compounds and heterocyclic rings (scaffolds) which are present in drug compounds viz. furan, pyrrole, pyridine, pyrimidine, indole, etc. The subject is taught so that learner can employ the organic reactions as a synthetic tool to tailor the existing drug compounds and to synthesize new chemical entities (NCE) which could probably be promiscuous drugs. After knowing the properties of different chemical functional groups, the learner can also predict the degradation and ADME of drug compounds in qualitative terms. Principles and outcomes of different analytical spectra Viz., IR-spectra, UV-Vis spectra, NMR spectra, Mass spectra, etc. are explained by the concepts of organic chemistry.
Inorganic chemistry: The subject mainly deals with preparation, chemical properties and assay of different inorganic compounds which are used as drugs. As Pharmacopoeia of India prescribes the maximum permissible limits of certain ions (chloride, sulphate, arsenic, iron, ferric, lead, etc.) for pharmaceutical substances and pharmaceutical products, the subject also focuses on the qualitative chemical limit tests of these inorganic ions; these qualitative limit tests are used in pharmaceutical industries as one of the several quality control tools. The chemical assays of different inorganic drugs are discussed with the chemistry involved in it, as these chemical assays are employed by the pharmaceutical industries and regulatory agencies as a quality control tool. The subject also imparts in-depth knowledge to the learner about the different pharmaceutical buffers which paves the basics for ‘Drug-formulation’.
Medicinal chemistry mainly focuses on the designing of organic compounds as probable potential drugs. Different approaches and principles of drug designing viz., receptor-based drug designing and lead-based drug designing, pharmacophore based drug designing, etc; are taught to the learner. The subject also focuses on the chemical structures of the drug compounds as these are the chemical structures which decide the physiochemical properties (e.g. basicity, acidity, lipophilic –hydrophilic character, etc.), pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics (ADME) of the drug candidates; hence the knowledge of chemical structures develops the thinking skills of the learner about designing new drug-like molecules . Multi-step synthesis (with reaction mechanisms) of different drug compounds are also discussed in the subject so that learner can employ the principles of organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry to synthesize new chemical entities. Other main learning outcomes of the subject include The chemical structures and features of the biological drug targets including neurotransmitters, different pathways followed by drug compounds to exhibit biological actions (mechanism of action).
Analytical chemistry: The subject mainly deals with the in-depth study of modern analytical techniques, Viz, spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques. Different spectroscopic techniques (e.g. UV-visible, Infra-red, proton-NMR, mass, etc) and chromatographic techniques (HPLC, HPTLC etc.) are employed by the pharmaceutical industries in their pharmaceutical research and as a quality control tool. The learning outcomes of the subject include knowing the principles of different techniques, interpretation of spectra and handling of the analytical instrument.