ChEMBL Resources

The SARfaris: GPCR, Kinase, ADME

Monday, 5 December 2016

A comprehensive map of molecular drug targets

Within the ChEMBL database we spend a lot of time manually curating links between FDA approved drugs and their efficacy targets. With collaborators from the University of New Mexico and the Institute of Cancer Research, we have now published an analysis of these drug efficacy targets:

Santos R, Ursu O, Gaulton A, Bento AP, Donadi RS, Bologa CG, Karlsson A, Al-Lazikani B, Hersey A, Oprea TI & Overington JP.
A comprehensive map of molecular drug targets
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (2016) doi:10.1038/nrd.2016.230

In the article we address the complexities of assigning drug targets, describe the 667 human proteins and 189 pathogen proteins through which 1,578 FDA-approved drugs act and map each drug to its therapeutic indication via the WHO ATC classification system.

We show that 70% of small molecule drugs still act through privileged families (GPCRs, ion channels, kinases and nuclear receptors), highlight the differences in innovation between different therapeutic areas, look at conservation of targets across different model organisms and demonstrate that only 5% of identified cancer driver genes are targeted by current cancer therapies.

As an aside, the drug-target data within ChEMBL is used in a number of other platforms such as Pharos (the portal for the NIH Illuminating the Druggable Genome project), Open Targets (a resource for pre-competitive target validation) and DrugCentral (a drug compendium from the University of New Mexico), all of which have papers in the 2017 Database Issue of Nucleic Acids Research, alongside ChEMBL:

Pharos: Collating protein information to shed light on the druggable genome

Open Targets: a platform for therapeutic target identification and validation

DrugCentral: online drug compendium

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