Are the physicochemical properties of antibacterial compounds really different from other drugs?

Ebejer, Jean-Paul and Charlton, Michael H. and Finn, Paul W. (2016) Are the physicochemical properties of antibacterial compounds really different from other drugs? Journal of Cheminformatics, 8 (1). ISSN 1758-2946


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Background: It is now widely recognized that there is an urgent need for new antibacterial drugs, with novel mechanisms of action, to combat the rise of multi-drug resistant bacteria. However, few new compounds are reaching the market. Antibacterial drug discovery projects often succeed in identifying potent molecules in biochemical assays but have been beset by difficulties in obtaining antibacterial activity. A commonly held view, based on analysis of marketed antibacterial compounds, is that antibacterial drugs possess very different physicochemical properties to other drugs, and that this profile is required for antibacterial activity. Results: We have re-examined this issue by performing a cheminformatics analysis of the literature data available in the ChEMBL database. The physicochemical properties of compounds with a recorded activity in an antibacterial assay were calculated and compared to two other datasets extracted from ChEMBL, marketed antibacterials and drugs marketed for other therapeutic indications. The chemical class of the compounds and Gram-negative/Grampositive profile were also investigated. This analysis shows that compounds with antibacterial activity have physicochemical property profiles very similar to other drug classes. Conclusions: The observation that many current antibacterial drugs lie in regions of physicochemical property space far from conventional small molecule therapeutics is correct. However, the inference that a compound must lie in one of these “outlier” regions in order to possess antibacterial activity is not supported by our analysis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Antibacterials; Molecular properties; Drug-like compounds; Cheminformatics database analysis; ChEMBL
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: School of Computing
School of Science > Metabolic Research
Depositing User: Paul Finn
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2016 15:31
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2016 15:31

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