ADME evaluation in drug discovery. 9. Prediction of oral bioavailability in humans based on molecular properties and structural fingerprints

Sheng Tian, Youyong Li, Junmei Wang, Jian Zhang, Tingjun Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Oral bioavailability is an essential parameter in drug screening cascades and a good indicator of the capability of the delivery of a given compound to the systemic circulation by oral administration. In the present work, we report a database of oral bioavailability of 1014 molecules determined in humans. A systematic examination of the relationships between various physicochemical properties and oral bioavailability were carried out to investigate the influence of these properties on oral bioavailability. A number of property-based rules for bioavailability classification were generated and evaluated. We found that no rule was an effective predictor for oral bioavailability because these simple rules cannot characterize the influence of important metabolic processes on bioavailability. Finally, the genetic function approximation (GFA) technique was employed to construct the multiple linear regression models for oral bioavailability using structural fingerprints as the basic parameters, together with several important molecular properties. The best model is able to predict human oral bioavailability with an r of 0.79, a q of 0.72, and a RMSE (root-mean-square error) of 22.30% of the compounds from the training set. The analysis of the descriptors chosen by GFA shows that the important structural fingerprints are primarily related to important intestinal absorption and well-known metabolic processes. The predictive power of the models was further evaluated using a separate test set of 80 compounds, and the consensus model can predict the oral bioavailability with rtest = 0.71 and RMSE = 23.55% for the tested compounds. Since the necessary molecular properties and structural fingerprints can be calculated easily and quickly, the models we proposed here may help speed up the process of finding or designing compounds with improved oral bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-851
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 6 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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