Innovation in Small-Molecule-Druggable Chemical Space: Where are the Initial Modulators of New Targets Published?

27 Feb 2018

It is well established that the number of publications of novel small molecule drugs, and their associated targets, has increased over the years. This work provides an update on publishing trends over the years with a particular focus on the comparison between patents and scientific literature of which are accessible through ChEMBL and GOSTAR databases. More precisely, the patents and scientific literature associated with bioactive molecules and their target annotations have been compared to identify where novelty originated from. To analyse potential target class influences, the data has been further split into eight different target classes.. Moreover, small molecule modulators for protein targets are usually published in both scientific literature and in patents (45%), or only in scientific literature (51%) but rarely in patents only. It has been observed that generally, novel targets and their associated compounds are published in literature primarily, whereas novel compounds (regardless of their associated targets) tend to be published in patents first.