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Comb Chem High Throughput Screen. 2001 May;4(3):295-310.

Virtual darwinian drug design: QSAR inverse problem, virtual combinatorial chemistry, and computational screening.

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Unidad de Investigación de Diseño de Fármacosy Conectividad Molecular, Facultad de Farmacia, Universitat de València, Spain.


The generation of diversity and its further selection by an external system is a common mechanism for the evolution of the living species and for the current drug design methods. This assumption allows us to label the methods based on generation and selection of molecular diversity as "Darwinian" ones, and to distinguish them from the structure-based, structure-modulation approaches. An example of a Darwinian method is the inverse QSAR. It consists of the computational generation of candidate chemical structures and their selection according to a previously established QSAR model. New trends in the field of combinatorial chemical syntheses comprise the concepts of virtual combinatorial synthesis and virtual or computational screening. Virtual combinatorial synthesis, closely related to inverse QSAR, can be defined as the computational simulation of the generation of new chemical structures by using a combinatorial strategy to generate a virtual library. Virtual screening is the selection of chemical structures having potential desirable properties from a database or virtual library in order to be synthesized and assayed. This review is mainly focused on graph theoretical drug design approaches, but a survey with key references is provided that covers other simulation methods.

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