Glycans in Drug Discovery

Glycosience is benefitting from the global progress in biophysical techniques. Those developments are providing access to an increasing molecular and structural understanding of fundamental processes and have led to the development of effective therapeutics. Glycoscience could benefit from such strategies. Some aim at designing glycomimetics able to block specific lectin–carbohydrate interactions. Others offer the development of carbohydrate-based vaccines mimicking self- and non-self-antigens. The exploitation of the therapeutic potential of glycosylated antibodies is being pursued.

In this review, the most prominent contributions concerning recurrent diseases are highlighted, including bacterial and viral infections, cancer and or immune-related pathologies, which certainly show the great promise of carbohydrates in drug discovery.