Efficient Crystal Structure Prediction for Structurally Related Molecules with Accurate and Transferable Tailor-Made Force Fields

Posted on 05.08.2022 - 20:40
Crystal structure prediction (CSP) his generally used to complement experimental solid form screening and applied to individual molecules in drug development. The fast development of algorithms and computing resources offers the opportunity to use CSP earlier and for a broader range of applications in the drug design cycle. This study presents a novel paradigm of CSP specifically designed for structurally related molecules, referred to as Quick-CSP. The approach prioritizes more accurate physics through robust and transferable tailor-made force fields (TMFFs), such that significant efficiency gains are achieved through the reduction of expensive ab initio calculations. The accuracy of the TMFF is increased by the introduction of electrostatic multipoles, and the fragment-based force field parameterization scheme is demonstrated to be transferable for a family of chemically related molecules. The protocol is benchmarked with structurally related compounds from the Bromodomain and Extraterminal (BET) domain inhibitors series. A new convergence criterion is introduced that aims at performing only as many ab initio optimizations of crystal structures as required to locate the bottom of the crystal energy landscape within a user-defined accuracy. The overall approach provides significant cost savings ranging from three- to eight-fold less than the full-CSP workflow. The reported advancements expand the scope and utility of the underlying CSP building blocks as well as their novel reassembly to other applications earlier in the drug design cycle to guide molecule design and selection.

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Mattei, Alessandra; Hong, Richard S.; Dietrich, Hanno; Firaha, Dzmitry; Helfferich, Julian; Liu, Yifei Michelle; et al. (2022): Efficient Crystal Structure Prediction for Structurally Related Molecules with Accurate and Transferable Tailor-Made Force Fields. ACS Publications. Collection. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jctc.2c00451
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