Structure-based drug design: Selective WEE1 inhibitors

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Despite many tremendous advances in cancer research over the last few decades, new treatments that further improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients are still highly sought after. One class of small molecules that lead to many treatments now providing standard of care for cancer patients are kinase inhibitors. This target class contains over 500 members, many of which are undrugged. Protein kinase inhibitors are anticipated to deliver many more therapies to treat cancer and other diseases, such as fibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Small molecule kinase inhibitors are engineered by medicinal chemists to modulate specific intracellular kinase signal transduction, and in turn drive the desired pharmacological response. One critical aspect of kinase drug discovery is to selectively inhibit the desired kinase target. Lack of selectivity can lead to severe adverse effects that significantly reduce therapeutic windows in the clinic.

In this webinar, we present the WEE1 protein kinase as a promising target for cancer therapy. We’ll discuss the limitations associated with previously reported inhibitors and show how we used structure-based drug design to address the kinase selectivity issue whilst maintaining the desired levels of efficacy. This webinar will discuss many themes common to all drug discovery projects such as:

  • Tool compound quality in target validation
  • Pros and cons of selective modulation
  • How to design a fit for purpose screening cascade
  • How structure-based drug design empowers medicinal chemists

Join our head of medicinal chemistry, Dr. Thomas Pesnot, on this drug discovery journey. 


  • Dr Thomas Pesnot - Head of Medicinal Chemistry

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Who should attend? 

Drug discovery scientists with an interest in drug design, medicinal chemistry and cancer biology 

What will you learn? 

  • Learn about the role of WEE1 in cancer biology 
  • Discover the world of protein kinases, their pharmacology, structures, and associated challenges 
  • Find out how structure-based drug design strategies accelerate lead optimization