Description: The latest technology involved in drug development involves combinatorial synthetic methods as a platform and high throughput screening for analysis. The ability to generate very large numbers of closely related compounds by organic or biosynthetic means has necessitated the development of rapid evaluation techniques designed to identify lead compounds for further development. This volume, a compilation of targets, is a presentation of current thinking in several areas. As such it is a useful albeit limited introduction to this research area.
Purpose: The purpose does not match what the title implies. Instead of screening methods, the editor presents information on compounds; the objectives therefore are not met.
Audience: This volume can be recommended for those wishing an overview of limited scope in areas discussed. This will appeal mainly to investigators wishing an update on approaches to certain types of drugs.
Features: In the first chapter contributors review some combinatorial chemistry, largely based on solid supports, an approach pioneered by Mario Geysen. The subsequent chapter contributors discuss protease inhibitors, cell adhesion antagonists, and inhibitors of selected signal transduction pathways such as MAP kinase.
Assessment: The contributions focus on compounds rather than screening methods and hence the title is somewhat misleading. In addition, essentially all of the material contributed is from the private sector, which results in limited coverage of the fields involved. For example, the chapter on selectins has little to say about the combinatorial work in carbohydrates currently ongoing in several laboratories. There is insufficient attention given to the strategies behind screening methods and the design of these for a particular target.