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Modern Drug Discovery Technologies: Opportunities and Challenges in Lead Discovery

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 10 ]


Rafael V. C. Guido, Glaucius Oliva and Adriano D. Andricopulo   Pages 830 - 839 ( 10 )


The identification of promising hits and the generation of high quality leads are crucial steps in the early stages of drug discovery projects. The definition and assessment of both chemical and biological space have revitalized the screening process model and emphasized the importance of exploring the intrinsic complementary nature of classical and modern methods in drug research. In this context, the widespread use of combinatorial chemistry and sophisticated screening methods for the discovery of lead compounds has created a large demand for small organic molecules that act on specific drug targets. Modern drug discovery involves the employment of a wide variety of technologies and expertise in multidisciplinary research teams. The synergistic effects between experimental and computational approaches on the selection and optimization of bioactive compounds emphasize the importance of the integration of advanced chnologies in drug discovery programs. These technologies (VS, HTS, SBDD, LBDD, QSAR, and so on) are complementary in the sense that they have mutual goals, thereby the combination of both empirical and in silico efforts is feasible at many different levels of lead optimization and new chemical entity (NCE) discovery. This paper provides a brief perspective on the evolution and use of key drug design technologies, highlighting opportunities and challenges.


Drug discovery, ligand-based drug design, high throughput screening, virtual screening, lead discovery, bioactive compounds, Chemodiversity, Combinatorial Chemistry/, analogs, aggregation


Laboratorio de Quimica Medicinal e Computacional, Instituto de Fisica de Sao Carlos, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Av. Trabalhador Sao-Carlense 400, 13560-970 Sao Carlos-SP, Brazil.

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