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The field of combinatorial chemistry has received a great deal of interest for the rapid generation of drug-like chemical scaffolds. Today, chemists face increasingly high demands for novel compound libraries with drug-like properties for screening against a rapidly growing range of therapeutic targets Combinatorial chemistry can be roughly defined as the reaction a set of starting chemicals in all possible combinations. It is a technique by which large numbers of structurally distinct molecules may be synthesized in a time and submitted for pharmacological assay. The key of combinatorial chemistry is that a large range of analogues is synthesized using the same reaction conditions, the same reaction vessels. For example, compound A would have been reacted with compound B to give product AB, which would have been isolated after reaction work up and purification through crystallization, distillation or chromatography. In contrast to this approach combinatorial chemistry offers potential to make every combination of compound A1 to An with compound B1 to Bn. The main objective of combinatorial chemistry is synthesis of arrays of chemical or biological compounds called libraries. These libraries are screened to identify useful components, such as drug candidates. Synthesis and screening are often treated as separate tasks because they require different conditions, instrumentation, and scientific expertise. Synthesis involves the development of new chemical reactions to produce the compounds, while screening aims to identify the biological effect of these compounds, such as strong binding to proteins and other biomolecular targets. However, a library of a billion or more different molecules is only useful if the molecules can be quickly and economically screened for the desired function. "High-throughput" techniques have been developed that automate most of the steps required to combine the molecules with their targets and evaluate the extent of any reaction. Drug discovery, Development and design In the past most drugs have been discovered either by identifying the active ingredient from traditional remedies or by serendipitous discovery. To date, newer approaches have been developed to assess how disease and infection are controlled at the molecular and physiological level and to target specific entities based on this knowledge. The process of drug discovery involves the identification of candidates, synthesis, characterization, screening, and assays for therapeutic efficacy. Once a compound has shown its value in these tests, it will begin the process of drug development prior to clinical trials. The compounds which emerge from the process of drug discovery are classically termed as “New Chemical Entities (NCEs)” which are considered to have promising activity
against a particular biological target thought to be important in disease. However, little will be known about the safety, toxicity, pharmacokinetics and metabolism. High Throughput Screening The process of finding a new drug against a chosen target for a particular disease usually involves high-throughput screening (HTS), wherein large libraries of chemicals are tested for their ability to modify the target. For example, if the target is a novel GPCR, compounds will be screened for their ability to inhibit or stimulate that receptor (see antagonist and agonist): if the target is a protein kinase, the chemicals will be tested for their ability to inhibit that kinase.