Small Molecule Drug Discovery - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128183496

Small Molecule Drug Discovery

1st Edition

Methods, Molecules and Applications

Authors: Andrea Trabocchi Elena Lenci
Paperback ISBN: 9780128183496
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 2nd March 2020
Page Count: 315
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The discovery of novel molecular entities capable of specific interactions represents a significant challenge in early drug discovery. Small molecules are low molecular weight organic compounds that include natural products and metabolites, as well as drugs and other xenobiotics. When the biological target is well defined and understood, the rational design of small molecule ligands is possible. Alternatively, small molecule libraries are being used for unbiased assays for complex diseases where a target is unknown or multiple factors contribute to a disease pathology.

Small Molecule Drug Discovery addresses methods, molecules and applications of small molecules drug discovery, including contributions on the methods used to identify bioactive small molecules, synthetic strategies and techniques to produce novel chemical entities and small molecule libraries, chemoinformatics to characterize and enumerate chemical libraries, and screening methods, including biophysical techniques, virtual screening and phenotypic screening. The second part of the book gives an overview of privileged cyclic small molecules and major classes of natural product-derived small molecules, including carbohydrate-derived compounds, peptides and peptidomimetics, and alkaloid-inspired compounds. The last section comprises an exciting collection of selected case studies on drug discovery enabled by small molecules in the fields of cancer research, CNS diseases and infectious diseases.

Key Features

  • Outlines modern concepts and synthetic strategies underlying the building of small molecules and their chemical libraries useful for drug discovery
  • Provides modern biophysical methods to screening small molecule libraries, including high-throughput screening, small molecule microarrays, phenotypic screening and chemical genetics
  • Presents most advanced chemoinformatics tools to characterize the structural features of small molecule libraries in terms of chemical diversity and complexity, also including the application of virtual screening approaches
  • Gives an overview of structural features and classification of natural product-derived small molecules, including carbohydrate derivatives, peptides and peptidomimetics, and alkaloid-inspired small molecules
  • Discusses selected case studies of the application of small molecules in diverse fields of drug discovery, such as cancer research, infectious diseases and CNS diseases, illustrating the successful approach of small molecules drug discovery


Researchers, scientists and graduate students in organic synthesis, chemical biology and drug discovery. Researchers and scientists in chemoinformatics, bioorganic chemistry and combinatorial chemistry

Table of Contents

1. Synthetic Approaches Toward Small Molecule Libraries
2. Chemical Reactions for Building Small Molecules
3. Chemoinformatics to Assess Chemical Diversity and Complexity of Small Molecules
4. Virtual Screening of Small Molecule Libraries
5. Biophysical Methods for Screening and Characterization of Small Molecules
6. sp2-Iminosugars as Chemical Mimics for Glycodrug Design
7. Synthesis and Biological Properties of Spiroacetal-containing Small Molecules
8. Centrocountins- Synthesis and Chemical Biology of Nature Inspired Indoloquinolizines
9. PPIs as Therapeutic Targets for Anti-cancer Drug Discovery: The Case Study of MDM2 and BET bromodomain inhibitors
10. Discovery of Small Molecules for the Treatment of Alzheimer's disease


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© Elsevier 2020
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About the Author

Andrea Trabocchi

Andrea Trabocchi is Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Florence, Italy, where his research is focused in the area of diversity-oriented synthesis and peptidomimetic chemistry. His research interests are in the field of drug discovery, comprising molecular imaging, chemoinformatics and medicinal chemistry concerning peptidomimetic ligands in the fields of oncology and CNS diseases. He obtained a PhD in Chemical Sciences in 2003 from the University of Florence, and received training on peptide chemistry at the Imperial College, UK from Prof. Leatherbarrow. In 2016 he received the specialization in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Rome-Tor Vergata. He edited a book about Diversity Oriented Synthesis and authored a book on Peptidomimetics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Florence, Italy

Elena Lenci

Elena Lenci received the Doctor Europaeus PhD title in Chemical Science from the University of Florence in 2017, after spending a research period at the University of Oxford, UK. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher, developing novel amino acid- and sugar-derived scaffolds for medicinal chemistry projects. In 2015 she was awarded the Reaxys - Italian Chemical Society Young Researcher Award; and in 2017 she received the International Award for Young Chemists ”NATCHEMDRUGS” for the best research activity of a European chemist in the field of drug synthesis from natural products.    Besides her work in organic chemistry, she has served as a board-member in the Young Group of the Italian Chemical Society since 2016, representing the division of Chemical Education, working to improve the interaction between school and university and to promote the importance of teaching chemistry in the high school. Also, since 2019 she has been a board member in the Chemical Cultural Diffusion Group, supporting the efforts of all the Italian chemists involved in dissemination activities. She hopes to create new activities and opportunities to connect young Italian chemists to other chemists of the European Young Chemistry Network.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Florence, Italy

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