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Front Neurosci. 2016 Apr 25;10:177. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00177. eCollection 2016.

One for All? Hitting Multiple Alzheimer's Disease Targets with One Drug.

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School of Biology, BMS Building, University of St Andrews St Andrews, UK.
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade Belgrade, Serbia.


HIGHLIGHTS Many AD target combinations are being explored for multi-target drug design.New databases and models increase the potential of computational drug designLiraglutide and other antidiabetics are strong candidates for repurposing to AD.Donecopride a dual 5-HT/AChE inhibitor shows promise in pre-clinical studies Alzheimer's Disease is a complex and multifactorial disease for which the mechanism is still not fully understood. As new insights into disease progression are discovered, new drugs must be designed to target those aspects of the disease that cause neuronal damage rather than just the symptoms currently addressed by single target drugs. It is becoming possible to target several aspects of the disease pathology at once using multi-target drugs (MTDs). Intended as an introduction for non-experts, this review describes the key MTD design approaches, namely structure-based, in silico, and data-mining, to evaluate what is preventing compounds progressing through the clinic to the market. Repurposing current drugs using their off-target effects reduces the cost of development, time to launch, and the uncertainty associated with safety and pharmacokinetics. The most promising drugs currently being investigated for repurposing to Alzheimer's Disease are rasagiline, originally developed for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, and liraglutide, an antidiabetic. Rational drug design can combine pharmacophores of multiple drugs, systematically change functional groups, and rank them by virtual screening. Hits confirmed experimentally are rationally modified to generate an effective multi-potent lead compound. Examples from this approach are ASS234 with properties similar to rasagiline, and donecopride, a hybrid of an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and a 5-HT4 receptor agonist with pro-cognitive effects. Exploiting these interdisciplinary approaches, public-private collaborative lead factories promise faster delivery of new drugs to the clinic.


Alzheimer's Disease; datamining; in silico; multi-target drugs; rational drug design; repurposing

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