Meeting global health challenges, from cancer to viral infections, requires a profound understanding of living processes – not just at the level of cells but right down at the molecular level. And designing the most efficient therapeutics requires an in-depth understanding of the disease.
The years since the publication of Lipinski’s Rule of Five (Ro5)1 in 1997 have seen the growth of a minor industry, dedicated to generating new ‘rules’ for drug discovery. Fuelled by what Kenny and Montanari have termed “Ro5 envy”2, these rules are usually based on simple calculated compound characteristics and define criteria for the selection of compounds in drug discovery. But, can a generic rule be used to reliably select compounds for drug discovery?
It is becoming clearer that newer synthetic approaches for rational drug design may hold the promise of taking us closer to industrialising drug discovery while, at the same time, overcoming the bottleneck of combinatorial discovery processes.