Based on advances in chemical biology and network science, network pharmacology is a distinctive new approach to drug discovery. It involves application of network analysis to determine the set of proteins most critical in any disease, and then chemical biology to identify molecules capable of targeting that set of proteins. By addressing the true complexity of disease and by seeking to harness the ability of drugs to influence many different proteins, network pharmacology differs from conventional drug discovery approaches, which have generally been based on highly specific targeting of a single protein. Network pharmacology has the potential to provide new treatments for complex diseases where conventional approaches have failed to deliver satisfactory therapies.
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