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Med Res Rev. 2003 May;23(3):302-21.

Selection criteria for drug-like compounds.

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  • 1Bayer Research Center, 400 Morgan Lane, West Haven, Connecticut 06516, USA.


The fast identification of quality lead compounds in the pharmaceutical industry through a combination of high throughput synthesis and screening has become more challenging in recent years. Although the number of available compounds for high throughput screening (HTS) has dramatically increased, large-scale random combinatorial libraries have contributed proportionally less to identify novel leads for drug discovery projects. Therefore, the concept of 'drug-likeness' of compound selections has become a focus in recent years. In parallel, the low success rate of converting lead compounds into drugs often due to unfavorable pharmacokinetic parameters has sparked a renewed interest in understanding more clearly what makes a compound drug-like. Various approaches have been devised to address the drug-likeness of molecules employing retrospective analyses of known drug collections as well as attempting to capture 'chemical wisdom' in algorithms. For example, simple property counting schemes, machine learning methods, regression models, and clustering methods have been employed to distinguish between drugs and non-drugs. Here we review computational techniques to address the drug-likeness of compound selections and offer an outlook for the further development of the field.

Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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