Collections of large numbers of organic compounds are commonly used in pharmaceutical research efforts such as in HTS. These collections are stored in a variety of formats and under a broad range of environmental conditions. The compounds are synthesized internally, purchased from commercial sources, or obtained as natural products. Currently, more and more of the compounds are made by combinatorial or parallel syntheses. The size and the diversity of the repository compound collection are generally deemed important for the success of the initial lead discovery efforts. Recently, there is an increased interest in the quality and stability of these compounds. The prolonged storage of compounds can cause sample degradation of the screening collection that result from the exposure of the compounds to a variety of environmental factors. Therefore, the up-front analytical and synthetic efforts to generate high-quality samples for the compound supply can be readily lost due to the poor selection of storage conditions. Compound-stability studies have been carried out to find appropriate conditions and formats for the storage and handling of compounds to minimize the degradation. At the same time, there is also a need to assess the quality of the compounds before and during the storage. These quality-control and validation studies are important to assure that good-quality compounds are used for drug-discovery activities. Because the number of compounds to be analyzed can be very large in these compound quality-assessment and stability studies, mass spectrometry-based methods have been used extensively.
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