Aims of Drug Design
The aims of target orientated drug design are to improve the binding interactions between the drug and its target, and to increase the drug’s selectivity for that target. Achieving the former should improve activity, while achieving the latter should reduce side effects. The traditional approach to drug design has been to study the structure activity relationships of the lead compound and its analogs, and then to design new structures based on the information obtained. Pharmaceutical companies would employ teams of chemists to synthesize as many possible analogs of the lead compound as possible, using a standard synthetic route. The more compounds that were synthesized, the greater the chances of ‘striking it lucky’. The discovery of a lead compound is still crucial to the process, but once the lead compound has been discovered, the synthesis of analogs and molecular modeling studies are complimentary to each other.