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J Chem Inf Comput Sci. 1998 May-Jun;38(3):511-22.

RECAP--retrosynthetic combinatorial analysis procedure: a powerful new technique for identifying privileged molecular fragments with useful applications in combinatorial chemistry.

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Glaxo Wellcome Research and Development, Medicines Research Centre, Hertfordshire, UK.


The use of combinatorial chemistry for the generation of new lead molecules is now a well established strategy in the drug discovery process. Central to the use of combinatorial chemistry is the design and availability of high quality building blocks which are likely to afford hits from the libraries that they generate. Herein we describe "RECAP" (Retrosynthetic Combinatorial Analysis Procedure), a new computational technique designed to address this building block issue. RECAP electronically fragments molecules based on chemical knowledge. When applied to databases of biologically active molecules this allows the identification of building block fragments rich in biologically recognized elements and privileged motifs and structures. This allows the design of building blocks and the synthesis of libraries rich in biological motifs. Application of RECAP to the Derwent World Drug Index (WDI) and the molecular fragments/ building blocks that this generates are discussed. We also describe a WDI fragment knowledge base which we have built which stores the drug motifs and mention its potential application in structure based drug design programs.

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