25 years of DNA Encoded Chemistry: managing serendipity in pre-clinical small molecule drug discovery
DNA encoded library technology (aka DEC, DEL, ELT and other acronyms) and the concept of DNA encoded chemistry has weathered a quarter century of scrutiny following the seminal 1992 publication of Sidney Brenner and Richard Lerner (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 89, 5381-5383, June 1992). Drug hunters familiar with the failed promise of the initial concept of combinatorial chemistry, might have followed the writings (and responses) in the blog “In the Pipeline” over the past decade, wherein our blogger commented (April 28th 2010) on publications describing the technology thus “…It would be the second coming of combinatorial chemistry and could come with a suggested advertising tag line: ’this time, it really works…’.”
We’ll review the emergence of DEC, and its practitioners, from the early days to the recent announcements of clinical candidates. To many pharma and biotech companies it has become an established component of early stage discovery.