Importance of the field: In research relating to the development of new drugs, hit identification and validations are critical for successful optimization of candidates. To achieve rapid identification of new lead compounds, high-throughput screening assays have been employed in many pharmaceutical companies and laboratories. However, their success depends on the assay system relevant to in vivo conditions and they are physically limited by the repertoire of compounds. As an alternative or complementary approach to high-throughput screening assays, virtual screening is an efficient method to identify drug candidates in silico from large chemical compound databases. Its usefulness has been verified by current applications that successfully retrieved hit and lead identifications against various disease targets. However, for better application, the scoring functions for distinguishing possible active and inactive compounds must beimproved. Areas covered in this review: In this review, we provide an overview of pharmacophore-based virtual screening methods with a special focus on their successful application towards finding hits against various diseasetargets. What the reader will gain: Readers will rapidly gain insight into the recent successful applications of pharmacophore-based virtual screening. They will acknowledge that this technique is a powerful and cost-effective alternative to high-throughput assays. Take home message: Although there are many hurdles yet to be resolved, virtual screening techniques will emerge as essential infrastructure and as a prerequisite for developing new lead compounds with therapeuticapplications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Drug Discovery