Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (48 hours)

To fully understand the topics addressed in the present course, students should possess basic notions of cellular biology and general physiology, and they should be familiar with the structure and function of G immunoglobulins. Students who are devoid of such background knowledge must consider that the workload for this course will be greater than the 6 credits it has been assigned.

Final Examination: 

Approximately halfway through the course, students will be given the option to undergo an in itinere evaluation (about 60 minutes in duration) based on 10 multiple choice quizzes on topics addressed during the lectures (students shall explain their selected answer). Each correct answer will earn 1 point, provided it is adequately explained; a wrong answer, as well as a correct answer without an adequate explanation, will earn 0 points. The resulting score will amount to one third of the final grade *; the remaining two thirds of the final grade will be earned by an oral interview (about 30 minutes in duration), involving:
(a) one exercise based on the interpretation of dose (or concentration)/response curves or binding isotherms, or on solving a pharmacokinetic problem, to assess the students' ability to apply theoretical concepts to the analysis of quantitative data
(b) one or two question on topics from the program;
The final mark will consider the student’s knowledge and understanding (25%) and ability to apply knowledge and understanding (25 %), as well as the ability to make independent judgments ( 15 % ), the communication ( 15 % ) and lifelong learning skills (20 %) verified during the interview
* In case of a negative outcome of the in itinere evaluation, students can refuse it; in this case, and for students who have decided NOT to participate in the evaluation, the oral interview will include additional questions and duration of the interview will increase accordingly

Voto Finale

The course will provide the students with the theoretical principles and the basic tools required to:
1. understand the interactions between drugs and their molecular targets and predict their effects on cells, tissues and on the whole organism (principles of pharmacodynamics);
2. understand the modifications that drugs undergo once they enter the organism (principles of pharmacokinetics) and the possible interactions with other drugs;
3. understand the genetic bases for the variability in drug responses (principles of pharmacogenetics).
The course will also focus on biologic drugs, emphasizing the differences with regards to conventional agents, and on gene-based and cell-based therapies.
Finally, the different phases of the pre-clinical and clinical development of new drugs will be described, to provide the student with an understanding of the phases and pitfalls of drug transfer from bench to bedside.
Students will learn to build and analyze binding isotherms and dose/response curves for a drug, the relationship between the two types of approach and how both approaches must be applied to characterize drugs.

1. An introduction to Pharmacology.
2. The development of a new drug.
3. Principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics
4. Qualitative and quantitative aspects of drug-receptor interactions
5. Molecular mechanisms of drug action.
6. Nucleic acids as drug targets and as pharmacological agents.
7. Biological agents and biosimilars
8. Cell-based therapies

1. An introduction to Pharmacology: general concepts and historical background
2. Where does a new drug come from? The phases of Drug Discovery and Development
3. Principles of pharmacokinetics (drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion; drug interactions) and pharmacogenetics
4. Qualitative and quantitative aspects of drug-receptor interactions
5. Molecular mechanisms of drug action (drug targets, classes of receptors, ion channels, enzymes and membrane transporters; second messengers and post-translational modifications)
6. Nucleic acids as drug targets and as pharmacological agents (antisense oligonucleotides; RNAi); gene therapy
7. Biological agents and biosimilars: monoclonal antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), immunotoxins, chimeric proteins, bispecific T-cell engager (BITE) antibodies.
8. Cell-based therapies: native/engineered stem or adult cell transplant; dendritic cell-based vaccines

Students will find the visual materials presented during the lectures on the Moodle platform, compatibly with the laws on copyright.
The following reference textbooks are recommended:
F. Clementi, G. Fumagalli: Farmacologia Generale & Molecolare, 5th edition, 2018, EDRA.
D.E. Golan, E.J. Armstrong, A.W. Armstrong: Principles of Pharmacology - The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy. 4th Edition, 2016, Wolters Kluwer.


The course consists of ex cathedra lectures, but aims at creating a direct interaction between students and teacher, in order to stimulate the students' interest concerning the topics of the course. Interactive practical sessions will help the students to address problems pertaining to pharmacokinetics and drug receptor interactions.
Lectures and the accompanying visual materials are the major source of information for the student. Thus consistent attendance is recommended; students are also encouraged to further investigate aspects of special interest, by referring to the recommended textbooks and/or by critically searching the Internet.

Prof. Monti will receive the students by appointment in her office in Busto Arsizio (Via L. Manara, 7); appointments should be scheduled by e-mail ( During the course, she will also be available for 30 minutes after each lecture.