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Medicinal chemistry

Definition:

The design, synthesis and modification of biologically active molecules.

Medicinal chemistry plays a critical role in converting a newly discovered molecule with antibacterial activity (a hit) into a safe and effective candidate. Key steps include modifying the molecule to explore the relationship between chemical structure and antibacterial activity (structure-activity relationship, SAR) and adapting the molecule to improve its efficacy and drug-like properties (lead optimization).