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Elife. 2018 Apr 20;7. pii: e34311. doi: 10.7554/eLife.34311.

Donated chemical probes for open science.

Author information

Structural Genomics Consortium, Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Drug Discovery Pharmaceuticals, Bayer AG, Berlin, Germany.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Boston, United States.
Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom.
Discovery Research, Boehringer Ingelheim, Vienna, Austria.
Structural Genomics Consortium, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Discovery Research, Boehringer Ingelheim, Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany.
Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Center for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Structural Genomics Consortium, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, United States.
Janssen Pharmaceutical Research and Development LLC, Spring House, United States.
Merck & Co., Inc., Boston, United States.
Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, United States.
Discovery Research, Boehringer Ingelheim, Biberach an der Riss, Germany.
Ched Grimshaw Consulting, LLC, Poway, United States.
Division of Medicinal Chemistry, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands.
Takeda California Inc., San Diego, United States.
J&J Innovation Centre, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Drug Discovery Pharmaceuticals, Bayer AG, Wuppertal, Germany.
Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer, Cambridge, United States.
Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, Fujisawa, Japan.
Discovery Sciences, Janssen-Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Beerse, Belgium.
Fakultät für Chemie und Chemische Biologie, Technische Universität Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany.
AbbVie, North Chicago, United States.
The National Institute of Mental Health Psychoactive Active Drug Screening Program, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, United States.
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, United States.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., Fujisawa, Japan.
Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, United States.
Eurofins DiscoverX, Sane Diego, United States.


Potent, selective and broadly characterized small molecule modulators of protein function (chemical probes) are powerful research reagents. The pharmaceutical industry has generated many high-quality chemical probes and several of these have been made available to academia. However, probe-associated data and control compounds, such as inactive structurally related molecules and their associated data, are generally not accessible. The lack of data and guidance makes it difficult for researchers to decide which chemical tools to choose. Several pharmaceutical companies (AbbVie, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen, MSD, Pfizer, and Takeda) have therefore entered into a pre-competitive collaboration to make available a large number of innovative high-quality probes, including all probe-associated data, control compounds and recommendations on use (<ext-link ext-link-type="uri" xlink:href=""></ext-link><ext-link ext-link-type="uri" xlink:href="">/</ext-link>). Here we describe the chemical tools and target-related knowledge that have been made available, and encourage others to join the project.


Chemical probes; Open Science; Target validation; biochemistry; chemical biology

Conflict of interest statement

SM, SA, CA, JB, CB, PB, DD, DD, AE, JE, SF, AI, TH, SL, BM, BR, NS, AS, PT, CW, TW, WZ, SK No competing interests declared, MB employee of Bayer AG, JB employee of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, JB employee of Boehringer Ingelheim, MB Mark E Bunnage: employee of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, AC Adrian J Carter: employee of Boehringer Ingelheim, VD Reviewing editor, eLife, JE employee of Janssen Pharmaceutical Research and Development LLC, CF employee of Merck &amp; Co., Inc. AG Andreas Gollner: employee of Boehringer Ingelheim, CG employee of Ched Grimshaw Consulting, LLC, IH Ingo V Hartung: employee of Bayer AG, SH employee of Takeda California Inc. TH employee of J&amp;J Innovation Centre, TH Terry V Hughes: employee of J&amp;J Innovation Centre, VL Volkhart MJ Li: employee of Bayer AG, SL employee of Pfizer, HM employee of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, JM John Mathias: employee of Pfizer, RO Ronan C O'Hagan: employee of Merck &amp; Co., Inc.,, DO Dafydd R Owen: employee of Pfizer, VP employee of Janssen-Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson &amp; Johnson, DR Daniel Rauh received consulting and lecture fees (Sanofi-Aventis, Takeda, Novartis, Pfizer, LDC) as well as research support (Novartis, J&amp;J, Bayer, Merck, MSD). SR employee of AbbVie, CS Cora Scholten: employee of Bayer AG, KS Kumar Singh Saikatendu: employee of Takeda California Inc, MT Masayuki Takizawa: employee of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. CT Chris Tse: employee of AbbVie, DT employee of Eurofins DiscoverX, AV Amélia YI Viana: employee of Boehringer Ingelheim, AM Anke Mueller-Fahrnow: employee of Bayer AG

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