In March 2019, I was invited by Dr. Adrian Roth to give a lecture about bioinformatics approaches to understanding the MoA of a compound to master students of pharmacy in the course series of From Novel Targets To Novel Therapeutic Modalities at the University of Basel.

The slide deck of the lecture can be downloaded below.

Slide front page

Download the presentation slides in the PDF format

The key messages I tried to deliver are three-fold.

  1. In drug discovery, we are often interested in multiple levels of working mechanism - molecular, cellular/omics, and system/organ-level - of drug candidates.
  2. Bioinformatics modelling and relevant fields including molecular modelling, PK/PD modelling, combined with statistical modelling, build the computational foundation of MoA understanding.
  3. MoA understanding is an interdisciplinary effort and can be a long process. Many techniques are required that are either applicable to all modalities (small-molecule, antibodies, antisense oligonucleotides, etc.) and or specifically designed for individual modality.

I am convinced that computational approaches, partially supporting and partially complementary to experimental approaches, have been and will remain critical in understanding mechanism and safety of drug candidates in drug discovery. And I argue for an interdisciplinary view of mechanism and safety understanding of drug candidates. More thoughts about that will follow soon.