Open PHACTS Foundation

Why is Open PHACTS Foundation needed?

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Many research institutions and Pharmaceutical companies are driving towards pulling their private and public data together. All with an aim to provide access to scientifically relevantly connected data, driving understanding of disease, treatments and many other aspects of scientific discovery. Access to a comprehensive database of pharmacological data could help increase R&D efficiency by helping initial drug screening stages, and limiting expensive clinical trial failures.

Pharmaceutical companies currently expend significant efforts integrating vast amounts of publicly-available data into internal architectures. This is particularly the case with pharmacological data, the study of drug actions.

This has been particularly evident in the global efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic, in search of treatments and interventions. Access to domain experts both scientific, data and technology is a critical factor in this, a conduit that the “Foundation” can provide to all

The decreasing research and development efficiency1 in pharmaceutical companies is becoming increasingly noticeable, and has been linked to many different factors. Major criteria contributing to the fall in drug approval rates are those of unsuitable toxicology, pharmacokinetics and efficacy2.


Figure 1. Overall trend in R&D efficiency, adjusted for inflation1

Figure 2. Reasons for drug attrition (1991-2000). PK, pharmacokinetics2

A comprehensive database of pharmacological information would be an indispensable resource to the pharmaceutical industry, academia and smaller companies. Various publicly-available databases, such as Swiss-Prot, Enzyme, DrugBank, ChEBI, ChEMBL and ChemSpider contain large amounts of useful data, although this is often only accessible through separate interfaces.

Open PHACTS Project proofed-out the theory into a full blow POC, drew upon these multiple sources of pharmacological and chemical data together, allowing access to the information directly via API or via an intuitive and publicly available interface, the Open PHACTS Explorer. The Open PHACTS Explorer allowed the provenance (chronology of ownership) of each data point to be identified, an integral feature in developing end-user trust.

The Open PHACTS IMI Project Discovery Platform also offered a powerful API to encourage the development of other applications and integration into scientific workflows.

With completion of the IMI Project phase, it was evident that the need was still very real and that the creation of what is now the sustainable output of the project, the ‘Open PHACTS FOUNDATION’, true not-for-profit charitable entity, operating in an honest broker model,  with the sole aim of furthering access to linked, scientifically relevant data for disease research and medical intervention that will benefit the human race Globally.

Join us in that mission …..

[1] J. W. Scannel, A. Blanckley, H. Boldon and B. Warrington, Nat. Rev. Drug Discov., 2012, 11, 191-200, (doi:10.1038/nrd3681).

[2] I. Kola and J. Landis, Nat. Rev. Drug Discov., 2004, 3, 711-716, (doi:10.1038/nrd1470).