Chemical Society reviews

New and unusual scaffolds in medicinal chemistry.

PMID 21837344


Contemporary medicinal chemistry faces diverse challenges from several directions, including the need for both potency and specificity of any therapeutic agent; the increasingly demanding requirements of low toxicity shown across all patients treated; and the need for novelty in intellectual property, given the extensive use of benzenoid and heteroaromatic ring systems in numerous patents. Increasingly, such challenges are being met by a shift to new and/or unusual ring systems (scaffolds) that lie outside the field of (hetero)aromatic systems. This critical review surveys a necessarily limited selection of currently atypical scaffolds, chiefly drawn from the literature of the last three years, that have found application in medicinal chemistry, some being present in agents with therapeutic potential while others are found in agents already in clinical use (163 references).