Optimised method to estimate octanol water distribution coefficient (logD) in a high throughput format

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Lipophilicity is one of the molecular properties assessed in early drug discovery. Direct measurement of the octanol-water distribution coefficient (logD) requires an analytical method with a large dynamic range or multistep dilutions, as the analyte's concentrations span across several orders of magnitude. In addition, water/buffer and octanol phases which have very different polarity could lead to matrix effects and affect the LC-MS response, leading to erroneous logD values. Most compound libraries use DMSO stocks as it greatly reduces the sample requirement but the presence of DMSO has been shown to underestimate the lipophilicity of the analyte. The present work describes the development of an optimised shake flask logD method using deepwell 96 well plate that addresses the issues related to matrix effects, DMSO concentration and incubation conditions and is also amenable to high throughput. Our results indicate that the equilibrium can be achieved within 30 min by flipping the plate on its side while even 0.5% of DMSO is not tolerated in the assay. This study uses the matched matrix concept to minimise the errors in analysing the two phases namely buffer and octanol in LC-MS.

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