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When fragments link: a bibliometric perspective on the development of fragment-based drug discovery

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  • Angelo K.S. Romasanta
  • Peter van der Sijde
  • Iina Hellsten
  • Roderick E. Hubbard
  • Gyorgy M. Keseru
  • Jacqueline van Muijlwijk-Koezen
  • Iwan J.P. de Esch


Publication details

JournalDrug discovery today
DateAccepted/In press - 4 May 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 5 May 2018
Number of pages14
Early online date5/05/18
Original languageEnglish


Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) is a highly interdisciplinary field, rich in ideas integrated from pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, biology, and physics, among others. To enrich our understanding of the development of the field, we used bibliometric techniques to analyze 3642 publications in FBDD, complementing accounts by key practitioners. Mapping its core papers, we found the transfer of knowledge from academia to industry. Co-authorship analysis showed that university–industry collaboration has grown over time. Moreover, we show how ideas from other scientific disciplines have been integrated into the FBDD paradigm. Keyword analysis showed that the field is organized into four interconnected practices: library design, fragment screening, computational methods, and optimization. This study highlights the importance of interactions among various individuals and institutions from diverse disciplines in newly emerging scientific fields. We study the organizational aspects of the development of fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD), using tools from bibliometrics.

Bibliographical note

© The Authors, 2018


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