Although no major drug at an advanced clinical stage emerged from this meeting, a large spectra of topics related to drug discovery was covered. Technical developments, especially for the generation of data from genomic- and proteomic-based research, were described. Speakers presenting the next generation of refinements and accuracy of computer-based technologies described design, data flow and control aspects of the topic. The increasing quantity of quality data available through genomic and proteomic studies, and consequently the results of these studies, will require the (potential) 'hit' compounds to be synthesized, which makes the problem of the current shortage of skilled synthetic chemists more critical. It also appears that insufficient funds are channeled into this area, both for training and for employing synthetic chemists and, at least in Australia, spin-off companies seem to be taking on the role of drug developers.