Do I need to perform crystallographic studies for drug discovery?

Only if the target protein/domain belongs to a superfamily of which one member’s structure is known.

 

I have identified a new protein but do not know its structure. Is it possible to design a small molecular probe?

Yes. For a new protein, small peptides can be designed. Peptides are easy to synthesize and will help identify hotspots in a complex system, which can be used for drug discovery.

 

How long is the drug discovery process?

It’s variable, depending on the complexity. A person working full-time on a project can provide the first generation in 3-6 months.

 

What are the limitations?

Recombinant production is limited to globular proteins. That is, transmembrane-bound proteins are not available.