Drug development is a high cost and laborious process, requiring a number of tests until a drug is made available in the market. Therefore, the use of methods to screen large number of molecules with less cost is crucial for faster identification of hits and leads. One strategy to identify drug-like molecules is the search for molecules able to interfere with a protein function, since protein interactions control most biological processes. Ideally the use of in silico screenings would make drug development faster and less expensive. Currently, however, the confirmation of biological activity is still needed. Due to the complexity of the task of drug discovery, an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach is ultimately required. Here we discuss examples of drugs developed through a combination of in silico and in vitro strategies. The potential use of these methodologies for the identification of active compounds as well as for early toxicity and bioavailability is also reviewed.
Keywords: Protein target, drug development, in silico screening, in vitro screening, pharmacokinetics
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