SAR by space: Enriching hit sets from the chemical space
Molecules 2019, 24 (17), 3096
We introduce SAR by Space, a concept to drastically accelerate structure-activity relationship (SAR) elucidation by synthesizing neighboring compounds that originate from vast chemical spaces. The space navigation is accomplished within minutes on affordable standard computer hardware using a tree-based molecule descriptor and dynamic programming. Maximizing the synthetic accessibility of the results from the computer is achieved by applying a careful selection of building blocks in combination with suitably chosen reactions; a decade of in-house quality control shows that this is a crucial part in the process. The REAL Space is the largest chemical space of commercially available compounds, counting 11 billion molecules as of today. It was used to mine actives against bromodomain 4 (BRD4). Before synthesis, compounds were docked into the binding site using a scoring function, which incorporates intrinsic desolvation terms, thus avoiding time-consuming simulations. Five micromolar hits have been identified and verified within less than six weeks, including the measurement of IC50 values. We conclude that this procedure is a substantial time-saver, accelerating both ligand and structure-based approaches in hit generation and lead optimization stages.