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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2008 Jun;12(3):260-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.02.005. Epub 2008 Mar 19.

Fragment-based activity space: smaller is better.

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  • 1Evotec AG, Schnackenburgallee 114, Hamburg, Germany.


Fragment-based drug discovery has the potential to supersede traditional high throughput screening based drug discovery for molecular targets amenable to structure determination. This is because the chemical diversity coverage is better accomplished by a fragment collection of reasonable size than by larger HTS collections. Furthermore, fragments have the potential to be efficient target binders with higher probability than more elaborated drug-like compounds. The selection of the fragment screening technique is driven by sensitivity and throughput considerations, and we advocate in the present article the use of high concentration bioassays in conjunction with NMR-based hit confirmation. Subsequent ligand X-ray structure determination of the fragment ligand in complex with the target protein by co-crystallisation or crystal soaking can focus on confirmed binders.

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