The European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (EFMC) Best Practice Initiative: Hit Generation

Posted on 17 May 2023


Hit generation is a crucial step in drug discovery that will determine the speed and chance of success of identifying drug candidates. Many strategies are now available to identify chemical starting points, or hits, and each biological target warrants a tailored approach. In this set of best practices, we detail the essential approaches for target centric hit generation and the opportunities and challenges they come with. We then provide guidance on how to validate hits to ensure medicinal chemistry is only performed on compounds and scaffolds that engage the target of interest and have the desired mode of action. Finally, we discuss the design of integrated hit generation strategies that combine several approaches to maximize the chance of identifying high quality starting points to ensure a successful drug discovery campaign.

Panning for gold in drug discovery: Hit generation aims at identifying the golden nuggets in the available chemical space to modulate a target of interest. The quality of these hits will have a major impact on the speed and success of drug discovery campaigns. We present a view on best practices to consider for hit generation and hit validation.

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