Ligand efficiency metrics in drug discovery: the pros and cons from a practical perspective
Introduction: Ligand efficiency metrics are almost universally accepted as a valuable indicator of compound quality and an aid to reduce attrition.
Areas covered: In this review, the authors describe ligand efficiency metrics giving a balanced overview on their merits and points of weakness in order to enable the readers to gain an informed opinion. Relevant theoretical breakthroughs and drug-like properties are also illustrated. Several recent exemplary case studies are discussed in order to illustrate the main fields of application of ligand efficiency metrics.
Expert opinion: As a medicinal chemist guide, ligand efficiency metrics perform in a context- and chemotype-dependent manner; thus, they should not be used as a magic box. Since the ‘big bang’ of efficiency metrics occurred more or less ten years ago and the average time to develop a new drug is over the same period, the next few years will give a clearer outlook on the increased rate of success, if any, gained by means of these new intriguing tools.
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