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Computer-aided drug design at Boehringer Ingelheim


Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) is an integral part of the drug discovery endeavor at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI). CADD contributes to the evaluation of new therapeutic concepts, identifies small molecule starting points for drug discovery, and develops strategies for optimizing hit and lead compounds. The CADD scientists at BI benefit from the global use and development of both software platforms and computational services. A number of computational techniques developed in-house have significantly changed the way early drug discovery is carried out at BI. In particular, virtual screening in vast chemical spaces, which can be accessed by combinatorial chemistry, has added a new option for the identification of hits in many projects. Recently, a new framework has been implemented allowing fast, interactive predictions of relevant on and off target endpoints and other optimization parameters. In addition to the introduction of this new framework at BI, CADD has been focusing on the enablement of medicinal chemists to independently perform an increasing amount of molecular modeling and design work. This is made possible through the deployment of MOE as a global modeling platform, allowing computational and medicinal chemists to freely share ideas and modeling results. Furthermore, a central communication layer called the computational chemistry framework provides broad access to predictive models and other computational services.

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We would especially like to thank our Computational Chemistry and CADD teams in Biberach, Ridgefield and Vienna for their dedicated contribution, without whom this work would not have been possible. The support from our colleagues in IT, in particular for the implementation of the CCFW, is gratefully acknowledged. We thank Ulrike Küfner-Mühl, Darryl McConnell, Dirk Kessler, and Robert Hughes for fruitful discussions and for their continued support. We also thank Karen J. Bergner for critically reading the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ingo Muegge, Andreas Bergner or Jan M. Kriegl.

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Muegge, I., Bergner, A. & Kriegl, J.M. Computer-aided drug design at Boehringer Ingelheim. J Comput Aided Mol Des 31, 275–285 (2017).

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  • Computational chemistry
  • Molecular modeling
  • Predictive modeling
  • Chemoinformatics
  • Virtual screening