Introduction: Long-range intermolecular interactions (interactions at distances between 100 and 1000 Å) play an important role in the interaction between drugs and therapeutic targets, and design techniques based on this concept could significantly improve and accelerate new drug discovery. Understanding these long-range intermolecular interactions will also help further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms and the underlying basic biological processes.
Areas covered: This article looks at the physical bases of long-range intermolecular interactions in biological systems with a brief review of the literature data to support this concept. The article also gives some examples of techniques used in drug discovery that were based on the long-range intermolecular interaction concept.
Expert opinion: The electron-ion interaction potential (EIIP) and average quasivalence number (AQVN) concepts shed new light on the role of long-range intermolecular interactions in biological systems. Further research of physicochemical mechanisms underlying long-range interactions between biological molecules is necessary for a better understanding of the basic biological processes. The addition of the computer-aided design techniques based on the EIIP/AQVN concept to the research and development will lead not only to a significant reduction in cost but also to an acceleration in the development of new drugs.