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On drug discovery against infectious diseases and academic medicinal chemistry contributions

Abstract : This perspective is an attempt to document the problems that medicinal chemists are facing in drug discovery. It is also trying to identify relevant/possible, research areas in which academics can have an impact and should thus be the subject of grant calls. Accordingly, it describes how hit discovery happens, how compounds to be screened are selected from available chemicals and the possible reasons for the recurrent paucity of useful/exploitable results reported. This is followed by the successful hit to lead stories leading to recent and original antibacterials which are, or about to be, used in human medicine. Then, illustrated considerations and suggestions are made on the possible inputs of academic medicinal chemists. This starts with the observation that discovering a “good” hit in the course of a screening campaign still rely on a lot of luck – which is within the reach of academics –, that the hit to lead process requires a lot of chemistry and that if public–private partnerships can be important throughout these stages, they are absolute requirements for clinical trials. Concerning suggestions to improve the current hit success rate, one academic input in organic chemistry would be to identify new and pertinent chemical space, design synthetic accesses to reach these and prepare the corresponding chemical libraries. Concerning hit to lead programs on a given target, if no new hits are available, previously reported leads along with new structural data can be pertinent starting points to design, prepare and assay original analogues. In conclusion, this text is an actual plea illustrating that, in many countries, academic research in medicinal chemistry should be more funded, especially in the therapeutic area neglected by the industry. At the least, such funds would provide the intensive to secure series of hopefully relevant chemical entities which appears to often lack when considering the results of academic as well as industrial screening campaigns.
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Contributor : Yves Janin Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 8:32:16 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 8:43:59 AM


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Yves Janin. On drug discovery against infectious diseases and academic medicinal chemistry contributions. Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2022, 18, pp.1355-1378. ⟨10.3762/bjoc.18.141⟩. ⟨hal-03818550⟩



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