Compound Set Enrichment: A Novel Approach to Analysis of Primary HTS Data

The main goal of high-throughput screening (HTS) is to identify active chemical series rather than just individual active compounds. In light of this goal, a new method (called compound set enrichment) to identify active chemical series from primary screening data is proposed. The method employs the scaffold tree compound classification in conjunction with the Kolmogorov−Smirnov statistic to assess the overall activity of a compound scaffold. The application of this method to seven PubChem data sets (containing between 9389 and 263679 molecules) is presented, and the ability of this method to identify compound classes with only weakly active compounds (potentially latent hits) is demonstrated. The analysis presented here shows how methods based on an activity cutoff can distort activity information, leading to the incorrect activity assignment of compound series. These results suggest that this method might have utility in the rational selection of active classes of compounds (and not just individual active compounds) for followup and validation.