Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes are key players in xenobiotic metabolism, and inhibition of CYPs can therefore result in unwanted drug-drug interactions. Within drug discovery, CYP inhibition can cause delays in the progression of candidate drugs, or even premature closure of projects. During the past decade, a massive effort in the pharmaceutical industry and academic research has produced a wealth of structural information in the CYP field. In this short review, we will describe how structure-based approaches can be used in the pharmaceutical industry to work away from CYP inhibition, with a focus on the opportunities and challenges. We will show two examples from our own work where structural information on CYP2C9 and CYP3A4 inhibitor complexes have been successfully exploited in ongoing drug discovery projects.
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