ChEMBLdb, a vast online database of information on the properties and activities of drugs and drug-like small molecules and their targets, has launched with information on over half a million compounds. The data lie at the heart of translating information from the human genome into successful new drugs in the clinic.
The database is hosted by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). It was transferred from biotech firm Galapagos NV in July 2008 through a GBP4.7 million Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust.
ChEMBLdb is a unique resource because of its focus on drug discovery and its size: information on an additional 100,000 compounds has been added to the database for its launch, taking the number of small molecules to over 520,000, and it contains over 2.4 million records of their effects on biological systems. The data include information about how small molecules bind to their targets, how these compounds affect cells and whole organisms, and information on the molecules' absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity.
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."