Database release 2017.1

We are pleased to announce our first database release of 2017 on 26th Jan 2017. While there are no major updates in this release, it includes several bug fixes and new ligands of relevance to immunopharmacology. Our new portal, the Guide to Immunopharmacology, is now in alpha release version 3, with the first public beta release due in Spring 2017. If you would like to get involved in testing please contact us (

New contributor faculty pages
A new feature of the 2017.1 release is our contributor faculty pages. Every database contributor now has an individual page providing additional details, such as ORCIDs, home page links and subcommittee membership. We will be building on this in future releases. You can link to contributor pages by clicking on names on the main list of all contributors ( or from target page contributor lists.

New ligands – 2016 drug approvals
While we generally pick up new drug approvals as they are announced, this is the time of the year when we do a cross-check against the complete list of FDA 2016 approvals (  This established we have 15 of the 22 entries, since we do not add anti-infectives or imaging reagents without specific target binding. As has already been alluded to in the press, this looks a really bad year compared to 2015 (

The last 2016 approval under the wire was nusinersen, an antisense ologonucleotide .
becoming the second approval of this class after eteplirsen. These breakthrough polynucleotide therapeutic modalities are of course excellent news for the benefit of patients but they do present us with particular curatorial challenges. The first of these is we cannot assign target binding data but we do briefly describe the published molecular mechanism of action in the bioactivity tab, in both these cases suppression of defective exon skipping.  The next two problems are related as what formal molecular descriptors to use and how to render these as images (i.e. to produce an informative molecular picture).  In a nutshell, since eteplirsen is outside the PubChem size range we have chosen Varna as an informative picture, despite the fact that two external sources (indicated in the entry) actually managed a formal rendering but produced different InChIKeys.  Since nusinersen should be just inside the PubChem limit size we have both a Varna image and a SMILES string (from ChemSpider)  producing a Mw of 7126 so we will check (since we will be the first submitters) how PubChem handles this.

We have already captured the first 2017 FDA approval as plecanatide for the treatment of Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC) in adult patients.

It typically takes a week or so for our refreshed submissions in PubChem to go live. When the new statistics are available we will post them here.

Content fixes
Since we welcome user feedback on both navigability and content it was good to see an uptick for this in 2016.  We are particularly grateful when users send us correction suggestions that we can then fix.  Two cases are in this release.  The first of these was a name mismatch in our olmutinib entry. The incorrect synonyms HM-71224 and LY3337641 (which refer to a blinded Hanmi BTK inhibitor) have been removed. The second was a structural error for afuresertib. We explain such fixes in the revised entries.  For this and a host of other obvious reasons  any and all integrators/consumers of our content are encouraged to keep on top of our new releases. We know this is a tough job, so if we can help, get in touch.

Links to SLC tables
We have added links from transporter pages to the Bioparadigms SLC Tables database. This site aggregates lots of information relevant to the Solute Carrier superfamily. We look forward to collaborating with the developers of the SLC tables in future, as their site grows. Representative example:

Database content and statistics
The number of targets stands at 2797 and ligands at 8765 with 14890 curated quantitative interactions. See

Human targets with curated ligand interactions: 1648
Human targets with quantitative binding data: 1392
Human target with quantitative binding data to ligands with PubChem CIDs: 1265

PubMed stats

In the next release
We are working on improvements to our web services and a new version will be coming soon. The Concise Guide to Pharmacology editors and contributors are busy working on updating the concise view pages of GtoPdb with a view to releasing the updates in Spring 2017 for a new version of the Concise Guide due out in the British Journal of Pharmacology later this summer.

Posted in Database updates, Technical

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