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Chapter 1

Impact and Evolution of Biophysics in Medicinal Chemistry

The complexity of targets in disease biology coupled with increased diversity within the chemical matter and chemical technologies leveraged by the chemist has driven the expansion of biophysical screen approaches for lead matter. Ligand identification begins by leveraging data from techniques such as AS-MS, TDF, SPR and ligand- and protein-detected NMR to identify and validate screening hits. The mechanism of action (MOA) is assessed through enzymology coupled with biophysical and structural biology techniques. While finalizing selections, teams seek to understand the fundamental nature of the thermodynamics and kinetics of the interactions through ITC and SPR. Molecular design iterations couple computational tools built upon structural data, and in turn biophysical methods are leveraged in selecting the best opportunities for x-ray crystallography and dynamic protein solutions through protein NMR. Further, biophysics has been embraced across the drug discovery and development process and into the clinic, where technologies once used to identify screening actives, understand the structure of compounds and proteins, design molecules and deliver protein structure information are now being leveraged to understand their cellular context and mutational status within the tissues of patients. Non-invasive imaging technologies continue the interplay of drug design, target potency, and in vivo kinetics. This chapter will provide a background from the first biophysical approach, through evolving drug discovery strategies, the expansion of chemical diversity and modalities, and increasing target complexity that have driven the integration of biophysics and medicinal chemistry. Examples will demonstrate the power of utilizing orthogonal or combined methods.

Publication details

Print publication date
20 Nov 2017
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
Drug Discovery