Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track
Aryan Pedawi, Pawel Gniewek, Chaoyi Chang, Brandon Anderson, Henry van den Bedem
Virtual, make-on-demand chemical libraries have transformed early-stage drug discovery by unlocking vast, synthetically accessible regions of chemical space. Recent years have witnessed rapid growth in these libraries from millions to trillions of compounds, hiding undiscovered, potent hits for a variety of therapeutic targets. However, they are quickly approaching a size beyond that which permits explicit enumeration, presenting new challenges for virtual screening. To overcome these challenges, we propose the Combinatorial Synthesis Library Variational Auto-Encoder (CSLVAE). The proposed generative model represents such libraries as a differentiable, hierarchically-organized database. Given a compound from the library, the molecular encoder constructs a query for retrieval, which is utilized by the molecular decoder to reconstruct the compound by first decoding its chemical reaction and subsequently decoding its reactants. Our design minimizes autoregression in the decoder, facilitating the generation of large, valid molecular graphs. Our method performs fast and parallel batch inference for ultra-large synthesis libraries, enabling a number of important applications in early-stage drug discovery. Compounds proposed by our method are guaranteed to be in the library, and thus synthetically and cost-effectively accessible. Importantly, CSLVAE can encode out-of-library compounds and search for in-library analogues. In experiments, we demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed method in the navigation of massive combinatorial synthesis libraries.