Drug Discovery Data for All

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On Monday the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) announced ChEMBLdb, a drug discovery database containing information on over half a million compounds. The database was transferred to EMBL in July 2008 from biotech company, Galapagos, via a £4.7 million strategic award from the Wellcome Trust. Since acquisition, the ChEMBL team have added data on an additional 100,000 compounds prior to the launch.

The database is composed of drugs and small-molecule drug-like compounds together with information on their biological targets, effects on cells and whole organisms as well as their absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity (ADMET) properties. The data are abstracted and curated from the primary literature.

Dr John Overington, leader of the ChEMBL team at EMBL-EBI, said:

“We hope ChEMBLdb will assist the translation of genomic-based insights into innovative drug therapies. We are pleased that there has already been big demand for ChEMBLdb data – not only from large pharmaceutical companies but also from academic institutions and small companies who will particularly benefit from free access to the data.”

The database, accessible at www.ebi.ac.uk, can be searched for biological targets by keyword or BLAST; compound searching can be by keyword, structure or substructure. In addition, the launch of ChEMBLdb is accompanied by the release of Kinase SARfari, an integrated resource of sequence, compound and screening data from a variety of sources for the protein kinases, a key family for drug discovery.


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