We discuss further details on the concepts of “drug-likeness”, “lead-likeness”, and “natural product-likeness”. The discussion will first focus on natural products as drugs, then a discussion of previous studies in which the complexities of the scaffolds and chemical space of naturally occurring compounds have been compared with synthetic, semi-synthetic compounds and FDA-approved drugs. This is followed by guiding principles for designing “drug-like” natural product libraries for lead compound discovery purposes. We end up by presenting a tool for measuring “natural product-likeness” of compounds and a brief presentation of machine learning approaches and a binary quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) for classifying drugs from non-drugs and natural compounds from non-natural ones, respectively.
cheminformatics, drugs, drug-likeness, drug discovery, natural products
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