Macs in Chemistry

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SeeSAR update 6.0


The all new SeeSAR 6 provides you with a completely redesigned and now fully customizable GUI. You can choose between different bright and dark themes and GUI layouts so that you can optimally adapt SeeSAR for different use cases.


GUI design
The new design is more streamlined and customizable. Instead of having 8 different kinds of buttons in different regions of the application, we now have just a main menu top left and a toolbar top right. The main menu changes depending on the mode of use (editing, site definition, ...), while the toolbar stays the same throughout. This way you are never overwhelmed with choices, but are only presented with options that you may need. Depending on you current use case, you may also want to change the overall layout (many molecules tables to the left; many properties tables below to make use of the whole width; 2 monitors tables docked out) and/or the overall appearance (bright theme for presentations; dark theme for desktop work; we have also integrated a color blindness mode just in case).
In order to give you a jump start when you begin working with SeeSAR (both as a newcomer, as well as a seasoned user of the old GUI design), we have introduced an in-application help facility in this new version. First of all, upon starting the tool for the first time or after a long break in use, SeeSAR offers you a short introductory slide show, reminding you of a few basics that can make life a lot easier. But you can also now request help from within the application with a click on the lifesaver button. The help window then shows you – context dependent – explanations on the mode in which you are currently working or on the functions that you are trying to use so you can leave the help window open, consulting it when you need it. Of course you may also navigate between help pages in the help window and from there access online resources such as tutorial videos.

There is also a free webinar: introduction to SeeSAR 6.0

The design of SeeSAR has changed a lot and many new features – like multi-protein handling – have been added. So this webinar is of interest for both, seasoned users and newcomers to SeeSAR. It shall give you an update of the recent changes and guide you through the most important features based on medicinal chemistry use cases. Webinar attendees are entitled to a free 4-week trial license. date/time:    Tuesday, June 27th, 7:00 am PDT, 10:00 am EDT, 16:00 CEST


ToMoCoMD framework


ToMoCoMD-CARDD is an interactive and user-friendly free multi-platform framework designed to calculate 2/3-D numerical descriptors (indices) for molecular structures, with the objective of characterizing or discriminating among them. It can be downloaded here

Reference DOI.




Chembench is a web-based tool for QSAR (Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship) modeling and prediction. Chembench doesn't require any programming or scripting knowledge to use. It's an interface that lets you skip past the hassles of file management and translating between programs, so you can focus on the science of making and applying predictive models. DOI.

It includes models/datasets for things like brain penetration, PGP, AMES, skin penetration etc. you can use the existing models or build your own and than evaluate novel compounds.


SeeSAR Updated


A new version of SeeSAR is now available for download.

Version 5.5 includes several new features and has undergone some tweaks under the hood to improve speed.


From the release notes:-

2D browsing featuring in-view molecule properties
To further enhance the 2D browsing, we have added an illustration of the molecules' key properties in the form of a radar plot. A thumbnail of the plot is embedded in each of the 2D molecule pictures, providing a quick overview. it enlarges upon mouse-over and provides access to the configuration dialog. Add or remove property-axes, optionally fine-tune the scales and set 'desired' value ranges. A hit or miss of the latter is indicated by green or red dots on the corners of the color-coded characteristic shape of the molecule on the plot (the greener the better).
Detecting novel/unoccupied binding sites
Now SeeSAR can search your protein for unoccupied pockets based on the world-renown DoGSite-Algorithm. You may then select these to become the binding site, within which to generate poses and calculate binding affinities for your molecules. The new binding site definition feature lets you either use a selected molecule from the table (based on a 6.5Å shell around it, as before) or will detect and visualize empty pockets for you to select instead.
Multiple reference molecules
The reference molecule in SeeSAR always stays in view even when you select other entries from the molecule tables. Now, however, you are able to set - and keep in view - as many reference molecules as you like. Either set them individually - in the selected molecule menu (as before) - or mark several as favorites and set them all as references at once, via the new menu button below the table.
Multiple core replacements with just one click
With the new multiple solutions button for ReCore in the molecule editor, brainstorming new scaffold ideas became yet easier. You can now generate 10 new alternative core replacements at once. The new molecules are saved directly to the table so that you can immediately see their estimated binding affinity and view all structures in 2D at a glance.


SeeSAR Updated


a href="">SeeSAR version 1.6 has been released. It covers:

The ability to change the charge of an Atom (+/-) and to protect such change against ProToss (this is the automated protonation/tautomerism to optimize the overall H-bonding network) overwrite

Improved table: pM affinity, in/exclude multiple columns, the pose-specific context-menu, quick-find molecules including a 2D popup rendering, this can be very useful when trying to work out the structure from a 3D conformation.


There is a review of an early version of the software here


Datawarrior review


DataWarrior is a data analysis tool that understands chemistry, it provides an efficient way to search, sort and analyse structure-activity data. DataWarrior was developed at Actelion and it is highly integrated into the drug discovery platform, in 2014 it was decided to release DataWarrior without the integration layer as a stand-alone tool to the public. DataWarrior is a Java application and thus is cross platform.

I’ve written a review on my initial impressions.


New additions and updates


McQSAR:  A Multiconformational Quantitative Structure−Activity Relationship Engine Driven by Genetic Algorithms

McQSAR, an extension to the traditional GA approach to derive QSARs. McQSAR is able to use descriptors for multiple representations per compound, such as different conformers, tautomers, or protonation forms. Test runs show that the algorithm converges to a set of representations that describe the binding mode of the set of input molecules to a reasonable resolution provided that suitable descriptors based on the three-dimensional structure are used.

Mikko J. Vainio and Mark S. Johnson (2005) McQSAR: A Multiconformational Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship Engine Driven by Genetic Algorithms. J. Chem. Inf. Model. 45, 1953-1961 DOI.

The recently updated Balloon creates 3D atomic coordinates from molecular connectivity via distance geometry and confomer ensembles using a multi-objective genetic algorithm. The input can be SMILES, SDF or MOL2 format. Output is SDF or MOL2. Flexibility of aliphatic rings and stereochemistry about double bonds and tetrahedral chiral atoms is handled.


Cresset Product Update

I was at the Cresset Science Meeting last week and heard about the plans to update their comprehensive suit of drug discovery and design computational tools.

Together with an interesting updates to the tools the suite has undergone something of a makeover, all of the software tools have be renamed using a “Fire” theme and refocussed to specific users needs rather than the software capabilities. The renaming will not be complete until September so in the interim the links on some of the download pages still point to the originally named application.

TorchV10lite is a free 3D molecule viewing, editing and drawing application that shows your molecules in 3D overlaid with field patterns generated using their proprietary field technology together with 2D structure and physicochemical properties. It is the replacement of FieldView.

TorchV10 is a powerful design and 3D SAR tool for medicinal chemists. It is used to take leaps in structural design by identifying compounds with similar fields but different 2D chemical structures while maintaining or improving biological activity. It is the replacement for FieldAlign and due for release very soon.

SparkV10 is a powerful way of generating novel and diverse structures for your project.  sparkV10 uses Cresset’s field technology to find biologically equivalent replacements for key moieties in your molecule, enabling you to find new structures in new chemical space. You can then use calculated physiochemical properties to filter and select the best designs. sparkV10 is the exciting replacement for FieldStere and due for release very soon.

The three applications above look to be intended for use by Medicinal Chemists whilst the remaining two applications are perhaps better suited to those more experienced in computational chemistry.

ForgeV10 takes advantage of Cresset’s patented ligand comparison method to align, score and compare molecules from a biological viewpoint, using the shape and electrostatic character of your molecules to create qualitative and quantitative 3D models of activity. forgeV10 combines FieldAlign and FieldTemplater in a single application,

BlazeV10 uses the shape and electrostatic character of known ligands to rapidly search large chemical collections for molecules with similar shape and electrostatic properties. It is installed and runs on a Linux cluster but is operated through a web-browser, enabling access from any platform and multiple locations.

Many molecular visualisation/modelling tools seem to assume the charge associated with an atom sits as a point at the centre of the nucleus, whilst this makes the computation easy it does not really reflect what the electrostatic surface really “looks like”. Cresset has pioneered the use of field point descriptors to give a more accurate description of the charge around an atom and to enable better comparisons and visualisation. This has been shown to be particularly important when trying to understand some molecular interactions such as Aryl-Aryl interactions or creating bioisosteric replacements.


Cresset now have an impressive suite of tools for drug discovery and I hope to review them in due course.


Added Scaffold Hunter to alphabetical listing

Scaffold Hunter is a JAVA-based software tool for the analysis of structure-related biochemical data. It enables generation of and navigation in a scaffold tree hierarchy annotated with various data.


VEGA Updated

Virtual models for property Evaluation of chemicals within a Global Architecture (VEGA), Using the VEGA platform, you can access a series of QSAR (quantitative structure-activity relationship) models for regulatory purposes, or develop your own model for research purposes. QSAR models can be used to predict the property of a chemical compound, using information obtained from its structure. This version comes with some minor error fixes and with a new model (BCF Read-Across).