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Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Jan 4;46(D1):D930-D936. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx1024.

ECOdrug: a database connecting drugs and conservation of their targets across species.

Author information

Biosciences, College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK.
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg SE-416 12, Sweden.
Global Environment, AstraZeneca, Cheshire SK10 4TF, UK.
School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.


Pharmaceuticals are designed to interact with specific molecular targets in humans and these targets generally have orthologs in other species. This provides opportunities for the drug discovery community to use alternative model species for drug development. It also means, however, there is potential for mode of action related effects in non-target wildlife species as many pharmaceuticals reach the environment through patient use and manufacturing wastes. Acquiring insight in drug target ortholog predictions across species and taxonomic groups has proven difficult because of the lack of an optimal strategy and because necessary information is spread across multiple and diverse sources and platforms. We introduce a new research platform tool, ECOdrug, that reliably connects drugs to their protein targets across divergent species. It harmonizes ortholog predictions from multiple sources via a simple user interface underpinning critical applications for a wide range of studies in pharmacology, ecotoxicology and comparative evolutionary biology. ECOdrug can be used to identify species with drug targets and identify drugs that interact with those targets. As such, it can be applied to support intelligent targeted drug safety testing by ensuring appropriate and relevant species are selected in ecological risk assessments. ECOdrug is freely accessible and available at:

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