Phenotypic profiling in drug discovery
Image-based phenotypic profiling of small molecules has been used for identification and characterisation of small molecules in drug discovery and can provide important insights into their mechanisms of action (MOA). This article discusses the use of phenotypic profiling in drug discovery and how machine-learning algorithms could help improve objectivity, processing throughput, accuracy and MOA prediction of small compounds.
While target-based drug discovery strategies rely on precise knowledge of the targets’ identity and MOA, phenotypic drug discovery (PDD) approaches allow the identification of novel drugs without understanding pathogenesis. Image-based phenotypic screening is a potent high-throughput screening (HTS) strategy for PDD that enables large-scale studies of biological systems using genetic and chemical perturbations. It also facilitates characterisation of small molecule actions through the quantification of morphological changes among cell populations.