Fluorinated scaffolds for antimalarial drug discovery

Charu Upadhyay, Monika Chaudhary, Ronaldo N. De Oliveira, Aniko Borbas, Prakasha Kempaiah, Poonam Singh, Brijesh Rathi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: The unique physicochemical properties and chemical diversity of organofluorine compounds have remarkably contributed for their wide utility in the area of pharmaceuticals, materials and agrochemicals. The noteworthy characteristics of fluorine include high electron affinity, lipophilicity and bioavailability, extending the half-life of the drugs. The incorporation of fluorine substituents, particularly trifluoromethyl groups, into organic molecules has led to their high potency against various diseases, including malaria. Hence, organofluorinated molecules offer valuable avenues for the design of new drug candidates against malaria. Areas covered: In this review, the authors discuss the importance of fluorine substituents present in the chemical compounds, and their potential applications for antimalarial drug discovery. Expert opinion: Fluorinated molecules represent a reliable strategy to develop new antimalarial drugs. Fluorine or fluorinated groups have been identified as a promising precursor, and their presence in approximately twenty-five percent of approved drugs is notable. Selective fluorination of chemical entities has the potential to be applied not only to improve the activity profile against the malaria parasite, but could be extrapolated for favorable pharmacological applications. Hazardous reagents such as HF, F2 and SF4 used for fluorination, are not considered as safe, and therefore, this process remains challenging, particularly for the pharmaceutical industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-718
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2 2020


  • Antimalarials
  • drug Discovery
  • fluorinated artemisinin
  • lipophilicity
  • organofluorinated

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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