Here we highlight a paper using the CSD Ligand Overlay tool in ligand-based drug design for the development of antibiotics and antifungals. This is part of our series highlighting examples of the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) tools in action by scientists around the world.
How do you design a drug if you don't know the target protein structure? Ligand-based drug design is an approach used in the absence of 3D structures of drug targets. This enables early-stage discovery and lead optimisation even when the protein structure is unknown. One option involves pharmacophore modelling, and it can be used in lieu of a protein-structure-based pathway.
Generating new ideas or looking at protein-ligand interactions in a novel way is key to innovative drug discovery and design. Pharmacophore models are an excellent way to do this.