FFLOM: A Flow-Based Autoregressive Model for Fragment-to-Lead Optimization

Jieyu Jin, Dong Wang, Guqin Shi, Jingxiao Bao, Jike Wang, Haotian Zhang, Peichen Pan, Dan Li, Xiaojun Yao, Huanxiang Liu, Tingjun Hou, Yu Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, deep generative models have been regarded as promising tools in fragment-based drug design (FBDD). Despite the growing interest in these models, they still face challenges in generating molecules with desired properties in low data regimes. In this study, we propose a novel flow-based autoregressive model named FFLOM for linker and R-group design. In a large-scale benchmark evaluation on ZINC, CASF, and PDBbind test sets, FFLOM achieves state-of-the-art performance in terms of validity, uniqueness, novelty, and recovery of the generated molecules and can recover over 92% of the original molecules in the PDBbind test set (with at least five atoms). FFLOM also exhibits excellent potential applicability in several practical scenarios encompassing fragment linking, PROTAC design, R-group growing, and R-group optimization. In all four cases, FFLOM can perfectly reconstruct the ground-truth compounds and generate over 74% of molecules with novel fragments, some of which have higher binding affinity than the ground truth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10808-10823
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023


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