Innovation is essential for the identification of novel pharmacological therapies to meet the treatment needs of patients with psychiatric disorders. However, over the last 20 yr, in spite of major investments targets falling outside the classical aminergic mechanisms have shown diminished returns. The disappointments are traced to failures in the target identification and target validation effort, as reflected by the poor ability of current bioassays and animal models to predict efficacy and side-effects. Mismatch between disease biology and how psychiatric diseases are categorized has resulted in clinical trials of highly specific agents in heterogeneous patients, leading to variable treatment effects and failed studies. As drug hunters, one sees the opportunity to overhaul the pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) process. Improvements in both preclinical and clinical translational research need to be considered. Linking pharmacodynamic markers with disease biology should provide more predictive and innovative early clinical trials which in turn will increase the success rate of discovering new medicines. However, to exploit these exciting scientific discoveries, pharmaceutical companies need to question the conventional drug research and development model which is silo-driven, non-integrative across the confines of a company, non-disclosing across the pharmaceutical industry, and often independent from academia. This leads to huge redundancy in effort and lack of contextual learning in real time. Nevertheless, there are signs that drug discovery in the 21st century will see more intentional government, academic and industrial collaborations to overcome the above challenges that could eventually link mechanistic disease biology to segments of patients, affording them the benefits of rational and targeted therapy.