Drug discovery and development is a very challenging, expensive and time-consuming process. Impressive technological advances in computer sciences and molecular biology have made it possible to use computer-aided drug design (CADD) methods in various stages of the drug discovery and development pipeline. Nowadays, CADD presents an efficacious and indispensable tool, widely used in medicinal chemistry, to lead rational drug design and synthesis of novel compounds. In this article, an overview of commonly used CADD approaches from hit identification to lead optimization was presented. Moreover, different aspects of design of multi-target ligands for neuropsychiatric and anti-inflammatory diseases were summarized. Apparently, designing multi-target directed ligands for treatment of various complex diseases may offer better efficacy, and fewer side effects. Antipsychotics that act through aminergic G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), especially dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT2A receptors, are the best option for treatment of various symptoms associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. Furthermore, multi-target directed cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) inhibitors are also a successful approach to aid the discovery of new anti-inflammatory drugs with fewer side effects. Overall, employing CADD approaches in the process of rational drug design provides a great opportunity for future development, allowing rapid identification of compounds with the optimal polypharmacological profile.
By Milica Radan, Jelena Bošković, Vladimir Dobričić, Olivera Čudina and Katarina Nikolić