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      Lessons Learnt from Assembling Screening Libraries for Drug Discovery for Neglected Diseases

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          To enable the establishment of a drug discovery operation for neglected diseases, out of 2.3 million commercially available compounds 222 552 compounds were selected for an in silico library, 57 438 for a diverse general screening library, and 1 697 compounds for a focused kinase set. Compiling these libraries required a robust strategy for compound selection. Rules for unwanted groups were defined and selection criteria to enrich for lead-like compounds which facilitate straightforward structure–activity relationship exploration were established. Further, a literature and patent review was undertaken to extract key recognition elements of kinase inhibitors (“core fragments”) to assemble a focused library for hit discovery for kinases. Computational and experimental characterisation of the general screening library revealed that the selected compounds 1) span a broad range of lead-like space, 2) show a high degree of structural integrity and purity, and 3) demonstrate appropriate solubility for the purposes of biochemical screening. The implications of this study for compound selection, especially in an academic environment with limited resources, are considered.

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          Most cited references 60

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          Prodrugs: design and clinical applications.

          Prodrugs are bioreversible derivatives of drug molecules that undergo an enzymatic and/or chemical transformation in vivo to release the active parent drug, which can then exert the desired pharmacological effect. In both drug discovery and development, prodrugs have become an established tool for improving physicochemical, biopharmaceutical or pharmacokinetic properties of pharmacologically active agents. About 5-7% of drugs approved worldwide can be classified as prodrugs, and the implementation of a prodrug approach in the early stages of drug discovery is a growing trend. To illustrate the applicability of the prodrug strategy, this article describes the most common functional groups that are amenable to prodrug design, and highlights examples of prodrugs that are either launched or are undergoing human trials.
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            The exploration of macrocycles for drug discovery--an underexploited structural class.

            Macrocyclic natural products have evolved to fulfil numerous biochemical functions, and their profound pharmacological properties have led to their development as drugs. A macrocycle provides diverse functionality and stereochemical complexity in a conformationally pre-organized ring structure. This can result in high affinity and selectivity for protein targets, while preserving sufficient bioavailability to reach intracellular locations. Despite these valuable characteristics, and the proven success of more than 100 marketed macrocycle drugs derived from natural products, this structural class has been poorly explored within drug discovery. This is in part due to concerns about synthetic intractability and non-drug-like properties. This Review describes the growing body of data in favour of macrocyclic therapeutics, and demonstrates that this class of compounds can be both fully drug-like in its properties and readily prepared owing to recent advances in synthetic medicinal chemistry.
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              Advances in the development of nucleoside and nucleotide analogues for cancer and viral diseases.

              Nucleoside analogues have been in clinical use for almost 50 years and have become cornerstones of treatment for patients with cancer or viral infections. The approval of several additional drugs over the past decade demonstrates that this family still possesses strong potential. Here, we review new nucleoside analogues and associated compounds that are currently in preclinical or clinical development for the treatment of cancer and viral infections, and that aim to provide increased response rates and reduced side effects. We also highlight the different approaches used in the development of these drugs and the potential of personalized therapy.

                Author and article information

                WILEY-VCH Verlag
                14 March 2008
                06 December 2007
                : 3
                : 3
                : 435-444
                [[a] ]University of Dundee, College of Life Sciences, James Black Centre Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK, Fax: (+44)1382-386373
                Author notes

                Supporting information for this article is available on the WWW under http://www.chemmedchem.org or from the author.

                Copyright © 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

                Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation.

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