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Attractor – a new turning point in drug discovery

Authors Hou X, Li M, Jia C, Zhang X, Wang Y

Received 23 May 2019

Accepted for publication 28 July 2019

Published 22 August 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 2957—2968

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S216397

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jianbo Sun


Xucan Hou, Meng Li, Congmin Jia, Xianbao Zhang, Yun Wang

Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine Information Fusion and Utilization, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Yun Wang
Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine Information Fusion and Utilization, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 102488, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 1 369 305 8206
Fax +86 108 473 8620
Email wangyun@bucm.edu.cn

Abstract: Drug discovery for complex diseases can be viewed as a challenging problem in which the influence of compounds on dynamic features of disease system should be considered, especially the strategies escaping from the disease attractors. Moreover, escaping from the disease-related attractors has been proved to be a cue for the treatment of the complex diseases. The drug discovery methodology based on the attractor theory indicates new solutions for target identification, drug discovery and drug combination design. The methodology is based on the holism level of the organism and the features of system dynamics, so it has advantages for the classification of complex diseases and drug discovery. Currently, research results of this method have increased, which expand the insight scope for drug discovery. This article introduces the major drug discovery methods in the history of pharmacy development and their characteristics, so as to illustrate the reasons and inevitability of the appearance of attractor method, its position in the history of pharmacy development, and its advantages for drug discovery and design, thereby to prove that the attractor method can indeed become the next major drug development method. In addition, it provides a comprehensive description about the concept of attractor, the pipeline of attractor analysis, the common methods of each process and its research progress, so as to provide a macroscopic framework and optional methods and tools for the follow-up researchers.

Keywords: drug discovery, design, attractor, system dynamics, attractor calculation, state transition

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