BOSTON — Researchers at the 7th annual Drug Discovery Technology Conference said they are optimistic that new tools being incorporated early in the drug discovery process will lead to the faster development of more useful compounds, but are concerned that some of these tools may be leading scientists or regulators to throw out otherwise promising compounds.

The focus of several scientific panels at the conference, being held here this week, was on drug target validation strategies and technology such as high throughput assays and biomarkers that are enabling scientists to make predictions about the utility of new compounds earlier in the discovery process.

Carl Spana, president and chief executive officer of Palatin Technologies, said that while scientists do not yet fully understand the significance of the data being generated, regulators may rely on these data to exclude certain compounds in early phases of clinical trials, or to compel...

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