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Strategies and challenges involved in the discovery of new chemical entities during early-stage tuberculosis drug discovery

Coxon, Geoffrey and Cooper, Christopher B. and Gillespie, Stephen H. and McHugh, Timothy D. (2012) Strategies and challenges involved in the discovery of new chemical entities during early-stage tuberculosis drug discovery. Journal of Infectious Diseases. ISSN 0022-1899

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Abstract

There is an increasing flow of new antituberculosis chemical entities entering the tuberculosis drug development pipeline. Although this is encouraging, the current number of compounds is too low to meet the demanding criteria required for registration, shorten treatment duration, treat drug-resistant infection, and address pediatric tuberculosis cases. More new chemical entities are needed urgently to supplement the pipeline and ensure that more drugs and regimens enter clinical practice. Most drug discovery projects under way exploit enzyme systems deemed essential in a specific Mycobacterium tuberculosis biosynthetic pathway or develop chemical scaffolds identified by phenotypic screening of compound libraries, specific pharmacophores or chemical clusters, and natural products. Because the development of a compound for treating tuberculosis is even longer than for treating other infection indications, the identification of selective, potent, and safe chemical entities early in the drug development process is essential to ensure that the pipeline is filled with new candidates that have the best chance to reach the clinic.