Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) is a broadly used strategy in structure-guided
ligand design, whereby low-molecular weight hits move from lead-like to drug-like compounds. Over
the past 15 years, an increasingly important role of the integration of these strategies into industrial
and academic research platforms has been successfully established, allowing outstanding contributions
to drug discovery. One important factor for the current prominence of FBDD is the better coverage
of the chemical space provided by fragment-like libraries. The development of the field relies on
two features: (i) the growing number of structurally characterized drug targets and (ii) the enormous
chemical diversity available for experimental and virtual screenings. Indeed, fragment-based campaigns
have contributed to address major challenges in lead optimization, such as the appropriate
physicochemical profile of clinical candidates. This perspective paper outlines the usefulness and applications
of FBDD approaches in medicinal chemistry and drug design.
Keywords: SBDD, FBDD, X-ray crystallography, NMR, Screening, Lead optimization.
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