The Significance of Synthetic Chemistry in Advancing Pharmaceutical Research and Development in Nigeria: A Call to Action



Drug Development, Drug Discovery, Drug Stability, Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Synthetic Chemistry, Therapeutic Efficacy


Introduction: Synthetic chemistry techniques allow for the exploration of a vast chemical space, leading to the creation of diverse libraries of molecules for screening against various biological targets. These compounds serve as starting points for the development of lead compounds with desirable druglike properties. Synthetic chemistry also plays a crucial role in large-scale synthesis of pharmaceuticals, optimizing drug formulation, enhancing drug stability, and improving therapeutic efficacy. Furthermore, synthetic chemistry allows for the creation of analogs and derivatives of existing drugs, leading to improvements in therapeutic efficacy, reduced toxicity, and enhanced pharmacokinetic properties.

Method: The literature search for this scoping review was conducted on Google Scholar, ResearchGate and Elsevier web databases using the following phrases and keywords Processes of Drug Development, Drug Discovery, Relevance of Synthetic Chemistry in Pharmaceutical Research and Development. Only publications that had full open access for complete manuscript and had publication year within the period 2003 to 2022 were included in the review.

Conclusion: Several challenges impede the full utilization of synthetic chemistry in Nigeria's pharmaceutical industries, including limited research infrastructure, inadequate funding, shortage of skilled personnel, and reliance on imported raw materials. Overcoming these challenges requires collaborative efforts and investment in research infrastructure, funding support, education and skill development, local production of raw materials, and streamlining of regulatory processes. 

Author Biography

Abubakar Danraka, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abuja, Nigeria


1National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abuja, Nigeria

2National Hospital Abuja, FCT Nigeria

3Faculty of Drug Production and Quality Assurance, West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists, Lagos, Nigeria


Stevens, E., & Wei-Chiang, S. (2013). Medicinal Chemistry: The Modern Drug Discovery Process. Pearson Higher Ed.

Davies, I. W. (2019). The Digitization of Organic Synthesis. Nature, 570(7760), 175-181.

Li, J. J., & Johnson, D. S. (Eds.). (2013). Modern Drug Synthesis. John Wiley & Sons.

Patrick, G. (2003). BIOS Instant Notes in Organic Chemistry. Garland Science.

Li, J. J., & Corey, E. J. (Eds.). (2013). Drug Discovery: Practices, Processes, and Perspectives. John Wiley & Sons.

DeRosa, T. F. (2006). Advances in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Methods Reported in US Patents. Elsevier.

Onoja, S. O., & Ndukwe, G. I. (2014). Drug Development Process in Nigeria: Pharmacists' Role in Preformulation Studies. Nigerian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 13(1), 1-10.

Peltier, J., O'Connor, C. J., & Huigens, R. W. (2018). Recent Advances in Synthetic Chemistry Leading to New Anti-Infective Agents. Chemical Society Reviews, 47(11), 3391-3432.

Odeniyi, M. A., & Adeyemi, A. O. (2015). Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Sourcing in Nigeria: A Review. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 14(5), 789- 796.

Ugwu, D. I., & Okoli, C. P. (2016). Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Synthesis in Nigeria: Current Status and Future Prospects. Journal of Pharmacy and Bioresources, 13(1), 1-8.

Adegoke, A. O., & Adedokun, M. O. (2020). Process Optimization and Scale-up Considerations in Pharmaceutical Industry: A Review. Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, 7(1), 1-10.

Uzoma, E. K., & Orish, C. N. (2013). Quality Control of Pharmaceutical Products in Lagos, Nigeria: A Case Study of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences, 2(2), 798-804.

Orish, C. N. (2014). Quality Control of Pharmaceutical Products in Nigeria: A Review. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 6(4), 984- 993.

Kalepu, S., & Nekkanti, V. (2015). Insoluble Drug Delivery Strategies: Review of Recent Advances and Business Prospects. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, 5(5), 442-453.

Stella, V. J., & Rajewski, R. A. (1997). Prodrugs: Do They Have Advantages in Clinical Practice? Drugs, 54(1), 1-8.

Sahoo, S. K., Parveen, S., & Panda, J. J. (2020). The Present and Future of Nanotechnology in Human Health Care. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 16, 19-20.

Bae, Y. H., & Park, K. (2011). Targeted Drug Delivery to Tumors: Myths, Reality and Possibility. Journal of Controlled Release, 153(3), 198-205.

Yang, B., Wang, H., Shang, L., Zhang, S., Cheng, Y., Xu, J., ... & Yang, Z. (2019). Chemical Strategies for Enhancing the Stability of Pharmaceuticals. Chemical Reviews, 119(3), 1658-1692.

Zhang, Y., Li, J., Du, L., Li, X., Li, C., & Sun, H. (2018). Prodrug Strategies for Enhancing the Stability and Bioavailability of Pharmaceuticals. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 61(6), 2211-2227.

Lipinski, C. A., Lombardo, F., Dominy, B. W., & Feeney, P. J. (2012). Experimental and Computational Approaches to Estimate Solubility and Permeability in Drug Discovery and Development Settings. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 64, 4-17.

Torchilin, V. P. (2011). Multifunctional and Stimuli-Sensitive Pharmaceutical Nano-Carriers. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 42(5), 445- 451.

Weissleder, R., & Pittet, M. J. (2008). Imaging in the Era of Molecular Oncology. Nature, 452(7187), 580- 589.

Böhm, H. J., Banner, D., Bendels, S., Kansy, M., Kuhn, B., Müller, K. & Zimmermann, G. (2015). Fluorine in Medicinal Chemistry. Chemical Society Reviews, 44(21), 6439-6462.

Matyjaszewski, K. (2012). Polymer Chemistry: Controlled Polymerization and Beyond. Nature Chemistry, 4(11), 846-847.

Wender, P.A., Verma, V.A., & Paxton, T. J. (2011). Pillow Talk: Diversification of Organic Synthesis. Science, 329(5989), 405-406.

Corma, A., Garcia, H., & Llabrés i Xamena, F. X. (2020). Engineering Metal Organic Frameworks for Heterogeneous Catalysis. Chemical Reviews, 120(22), 12156-12235.

Lehn, J. M. (2015). Supramolecular Chemistry: Scope and Perspectives, Molecules, Super-Molecules, and Molecular Devices. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 87(9-10), 1019-1029.

Adekoya, M. A. (2018). Research Funding and Challenges of Research Funding in Nigerian Universities. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, 19(5), 1-10.




How to Cite

Danraka, A., & Abdulmujeeb, A. (2023). The Significance of Synthetic Chemistry in Advancing Pharmaceutical Research and Development in Nigeria: A Call to Action: The Nigerian Journal of Pharmacy, 57(2), 758–764. Retrieved from