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Weak links: Advancing target-based drug discovery by identifying the most vulnerable targets.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains the most common infectious killer worldwide despite decades of antitubercular drug development. Effectively controlling the tuberculosis (TB) pandemic will require innovation in drug discovery. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the two main approaches to discovering new TB drugs-phenotypic screens and target-based drug discovery-and outline some of the limitations of each method. We then explore recent advances in genetic tools that aim to overcome some of these limitations. In particular, we highlight a novel metric to prioritize essential targets, termed vulnerability. Stratifying targets based on their vulnerability presents new opportunities for future target-based drug discovery campaigns.

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