Discovering Drugs with DNA-Encoded Library Technology: From Concept to Clinic with an Inhibitor of Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase

Chembiochem. 2017 May 4;18(9):837-842. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201700014. Epub 2017 Mar 24.


DNA-encoded chemical library technology was developed with the vision of its becoming a transformational platform for drug discovery. The hope was that a new paradigm for the discovery of low-molecular-weight drugs would be enabled by combining the vast molecular diversity achievable with combinatorial chemistry, the information-encoding attributes of DNA, the power of molecular biology, and a streamlined selection-based discovery process. Here, we describe the discovery and early clinical development of GSK2256294, an inhibitor of soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH, EPHX2), by using encoded-library technology (ELT). GSK2256294 is an orally bioavailable, potent and selective inhibitor of sEH that has a long half life and produced no serious adverse events in a first-time-in-human clinical study. To our knowledge, GSK2256294 is the first molecule discovered from this technology to enter human clinical testing and represents a realization of the vision that DNA-encoded chemical library technology can efficiently yield molecules with favorable properties that can be readily progressed into high-quality drugs.

Keywords: DNA-encoded chemical library; clinical trials; drug development; drug discovery; hydrolases.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combinatorial Chemistry Techniques
  • Cyclohexylamines / chemistry
  • Cyclohexylamines / pharmacokinetics
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Drug Discovery
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / genetics
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Small Molecule Libraries / chemistry*
  • Triazines / chemistry
  • Triazines / pharmacokinetics


  • Cyclohexylamines
  • Ligands
  • N-((4-cyano-2-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)methyl)-3-((4-methyl-6-(methylamino)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)amino)cyclohexanecarboxamide
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Small Molecule Libraries
  • Triazines
  • DNA
  • Epoxide Hydrolases
  • EPHX2 protein, human