Small-Molecule Drug Discovery

Accelerate your drug discovery project with Maybridge screening and fragment libraries

The small-molecule drug discovery process is long, expensive, and risky, with a failure rate estimated at 97%. Our Thermo Scientific Maybridge screening and fragment libraries can shorten this process—and improve its chance of success—by helping to identify or produce high-quality, hit-like, lead-like, and drug-like compounds.

Maybridge screening compounds and libraries have been at the forefront of innovative screening compound design for over 50 years, supporting the needs of drug discovery scientists in their pursuit of novel molecules of pharmaceutical interest.


Choose your drug discovery screening methodology

High throughput compound screening 

High-throughput screening (HTS) is an activity-based process that involves testing thousands or even tens of thousands of compounds to identify those that bind to the target. The process is like trying many keys to find one (or more) that fits a lock. When you find a hit, you have learned a great deal and can begin to develop it into a lead.

The Maybridge Screening Collection comprises over 50,000 synthetically derived organic compounds that are structurally and functionally diverse and demonstrate suitable pharmacokinetic properties while excluding potentially problematic structures.

Fragment-based screening 

Fragment screening is a structure-based process that has become a method of choice in the quest for rapid identification of new lead molecules in drug discovery. Compared to traditional compound screening, it offers a higher hit probability and fewer fragments that need to be screened. The process is like assembling building blocks into a key that fits into a lock. Finding a hit is easier but does not give you a complete answer.

The Maybridge fragment library, selected from our 30,000 high-quality chemical fragments, is a proven, industry-leading library due to its diversity, pharmacophoric content, and novelty.

Availability, stock quantities, and supply formats 

Typically, about 95% of the compounds in our collection are available in >5 mg stock quantities, over 90% in >50 mg stock quantities, and a large proportion in gram quantities. This means that we can ensure a very high level of re-supply of originally tested compounds from the exact same stock.


To facilitate screening, selected compounds are available in two pre-plated formats, with stock available for follow-up when required.


Maybridge compound supply formats

Although our Maybridge compounds team can provide most major brands of plates and vials, we are happy to use those supplied by customers on request. 

Turning your screening hits into leads

After identifying a hit, medicinal chemists need to understand why it produced the positive interaction. They typically unravel the pharmacological basis by investigating the structure-activity relationship (SAR) between the molecule and the target, usually by making an additional series of focused compounds, called libraries, to identify a lead. It s an iterative process of making compounds, screening, evaluating the results, making new compounds, and so on. Ultimately the process spins out a refined set of lead molecules that move forward to the next phase.  

Hit-to-lead optimization of furosemide. To develop furosemide, a treatment for congestive heart failure and edema, medicinal chemists varied the heterocycle and linker. For each change, they evaluated its effect on drug potency, effectiveness, efficiency, toxicity, and other lead-like properties. Furosemide is commonly marketed by Sanofi-Aventis under the brand name Lasix. 


To facilitate this development process, we offer more than 30,000 building blocks within our Thermo Scientific portfolio, including more than 3,000 specially selected heterocyclic compounds (some unique to our collection). These building blocks are designed for medicinal chemists conducting hit-to-lead and lead optimization through SAR development. Most of our building blocks are readily available from stock. 


Key features of Thermo Scientific hit to-lead building blocks 

Featured small-molecule drug discovery webinar 

"Hit finding" and its importance to the drug discovery process

29th October 2020
In this webinar, Simon Pearce reviews the early-stage drug discovery process and how screening libraries help scientists find the proverbial needle in a haystack. The webinar explains how high-throughput screening (HTS) and fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) are used to identify hits that can lead to the development of new drugs.

Simon Pearce
Senior Product Manager

Small-molecule drug screening resources