Focus Your Screening Library: Rapid Identification of Novel PDE2 Inhibitors with in silico Driven Library Prioritization and MicroScale Thermophoresis

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
F. KaiserV. Joachim Haupt


Accelerated development of lead structures is of high interest to the pharmaceutical industry in order to decrease development times and costs. We showcase how an intelligent combination of AI-based drug screening with state-of-the-art biophysics drives the rapid identification of novel inhibitor structures with high chemical diversity for cGMP-dependent 3',5'-cyclic phosphodiesterase (PDE2). The starting point was an off-the-shelve chemical library of two million drug-like compounds. In a single in silico reduction step, we short-listed 125 compounds - the focused library - as potential binders to PDE2 and tested their binding behavior in vitro using MicroScale Thermophoresis (MST). Of this focused library, seven compounds indicated binding to PDE2, translating to a hit rate of 6%. Three of these compounds have affinities in the lower micromolar range. The compound with the highest affinity showed a KD of 10M and is thus an excellent starting point for further medicinal chemistry optimization. The results show how innovative and structure-driven in silico approaches and biophysics can be used to accelerate drug discovery and to obtain new molecular scaffolds at a fraction of the costs and time - compared with standard high-thr...Continue Reading

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