Breaking free from chemical spreadsheets

Drug Discov Today. 2015 Sep;20(9):1093-103. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2015.03.008. Epub 2015 Jun 4.


Drug discovery scientists often consider compounds and data in terms of groups, such as chemical series, and relationships, representing similarity or structural transformations, to aid compound optimisation. This is often supported by chemoinformatics algorithms, for example clustering and matched molecular pair analysis. However, chemistry software packages commonly present these data as spreadsheets or form views that make it hard to find relevant patterns or compare related compounds conveniently. Here, we review common data visualisation and analysis methods used to extract information from chemistry data. We introduce a new framework that enables scientists to work flexibly with drug discovery data to reflect their thought processes and interact with the output of algorithms to identify key structure-activity relationships and guide further optimisation intuitively.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Humans
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Medical Informatics*
  • Software
  • Structure-Activity Relationship