Recently I was reading about drug discovery.
As far as I know, there are currently 2 sources of creating new compounds by:
Screening from natural sources.
Synthesizing by add/remove/replace-ing the functional groups of a known compound using chemical processes.
On the other hand, molecular pharming is the process of producing drugs by integrating the drug-encoding genes into bacterial (typically E. coli) genome.
I came up with the idea that if we create mutations in these drug-producing colonies, by UV light for example, eventually by chance we can obtain some new compounds once the mutations occur in the drug-encoding region or related genes.
I want to search in the previous studies for those who has come up with this idea already, I tried with several keywords and there's no luck.
I would want to ask is this idea practically possible? How high is the chance of having new compounds compare to screening natural sources and chemical systhesis? And if someone has already done this study, can you please provide me some references on this matter?