Welcome to the GenomeQuest Documentation Wiki
What is DrugBank Pro?
DrugBank Pro is the professional version of DrugBank which is a database of drugs, their targets and their metabolizing enzymes developed by the David Wishart group at the University of Alberta. DrugBank is available publicly.
Why is DrugBank Pro better than using DrugBank on the UAlberta web site?
DrugBank Pro, available exclusively through GenomeQuest, has two types of content that you cannot find in the public version:
- Six month advance data. Updates to the public DrugBank site are provided to DrugBank Pro 6 months ahead of being released publicly on their web site.
- Exclusive access to IND data. Data about investigational drugs (drugs in the clinic) is available exclusively in DrugBank Pro i.e. it will never be released on the public DrugBank web site.
What is an IND?
Drugs go through multiple stages of development before being released to the market. One of the most significant milestones in this development is called the IND (Investigational New Drug) application. If the IND is approved, the drug may be tested for safety and efficacy in clinical trials. After the trials are completed, an NDA (New Drug Application) is filed for the compound. NDA (if approved) allows the drug to be marketed for specified uses.
IND data represents the cutting edge of pharmaceutical research. Thus, there are significant advantages to DrugBank Pro compared to the public web site.
What sources of information does DrugBank Pro cover?
DrugBank Pro aims to bridge the gap between the chemistry and biology sides of pharmaceutical research. Drugs are associated with data about their chemistry, their pharmacology and the biology of their targets.
Sources of pharmacology information include
- the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
- press releases and announcements by pharmaceutical and biotech companies,
- pharmacogenomic information from PharmGKB,
- various listings of clinical trials and
- journal articles about clinical trials.
Sources of chemistry information include journal articles, PubChem from NCBI, references mentioned in Wikipedia, ligand reports in Protein Data Bank and journal references on chemical synthesis.
Biology information comes from sequence databases like GenBank and UNIPROT, structure databases like PDB, pathway databases like KEGG and ontology from GO.
DrugBank Pro then combines all these sources of data into a cogent set of annotation on each drug and makes it searchable through an easy to use interface.
What is the time lag for drugs to enter DrugBank Pro?
Approved drugs enter DrugBank Pro within about 6 months from approval date. All approved drugs are required by law to provide label information; therefore it is expected that approved drugs will have fairly complete annotation in DrugBank Pro.
The time lag is harder to judge for investigational drugs because of the varying times at which data is made public. It is also worth noting that the completeness of available annotation data varies depending on the sponsor of a clinical trial, and the authority where the IND was filed.
What kinds of drugs might be missing from DrugBank Pro?
Investigational drugs very early in development (early Phase I) might be missed or have very sparse data; pharmaceutical companies may not disclose full data in their press releases about drugs that are yet to show promise in the clinic. And there is no legal requirement for them to disclose this data until approval.
When the mechanism of action of a drug is not publicly released, very little information will be available on it in DrugBank Pro because it becomes hard to connect it to a biological sequence (say of its target gene).
- Information about the chemistry of the drug,
- the sequence related data about the drug target and
- pharmacology data about indications of the drug.
Patent data about drug-related sequences are available in GenomeQuest's patent sequence archive called GQ-Pat.
What type of Drug information is NOT in DrugBank Pro?
- Commercial data about the market size of a particular drug or its indication
- Chemistry patent data about small molecule drugs
How often is DrugBank Pro updated?
At present it is updated once a month.
In what ways can you search DrugBank Pro?
- By Keywords:
- on the name of the drug (generic or brand)
- name of indication
- name of target (gene name, accession, key words in description)
- Other key words: key words in sequence record of the target, key words in the description of the drug.
- By sequence:
- Search by sequence for drug targets - protein or nucleotide.
- Search by sequence of the drug itself - for biological therapeutics.
Can I search for similar chemicals to the drug I have?
Chemistry similarity searching is at present not available in DrugBank Pro. Based on user feedback, this functionality may be added in the future.