The major change which has occurred in drug discovery during the two last decades has clearly been the tremendous increase in data availability. Years ago, the medicinal chemist relied on very limited information on his compounds provided mainly by pharmacologists. Today, he is in danger of being overwhelmed by the flood of data generated by High Throughput technologies of all kinds, structural and physico-chemical, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology or pharmacokinetics. Even if computer-aided data management is of great assistance during the multiparameter optimization process that will allow going from a hit to a drug candidate, drug design remains an art. More than ever, the training of a medicinal chemist is based on experience and requires multiple confrontations with trial and error. In this regard, while SAR “structure-activity relations” remain specific for a pharmacological target (or family of targets), SPR “structure-properties relations”, such as solubility, permeability, plasma protein binding, metabolism, toxicophores… are generic and can be extrapolated from one series to another. Thus, sharing experiences on SAR and SPR at a precompetitive stage should eventually decrease attrition rates at both clinical and preclinical levels. It is the goal of these 45th RICT in Orleans which, like the 43rd RICT in Lille in 2007, will have as theme “Drug Discovery and Selection”, with a particular spotlight on imaging, to provide a stimulating forum for these exchanges.

Professor André Tartar