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Lead optimization

Definition:

Modifying the chemical characteristics of a molecule to maximize its antimicrobial activity and improve its pharmacological properties.

Lead optimization builds on hit expansion, focusing on lead compounds with the most promising properties. Modifications focus on key areas such as strengthening binding to bacterial target molecules, minimizing binding to host structures, which could cause side effects, and ensuring its availability within target tissues in the body.

Lead optimization generates one or more candidates for clinical evaluation.