ChEMBL or ChEMBLdb is a manually curated chemical database of bioactive molecules with drug-like properties. It is maintained by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), based on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK. The database, originally known as StARlite, was developed by a biotechnology company, Inpharmatica Ltd. latterly acquired by Galapagos NV. The data was acquired for EMBL in 2008 with an award from The Wellcome Trust, resulting in the creation of the ChEMBL chemogenomics group at EBI, led by John Overington.
ChEMBL version 2 (ChEMBL_02) was launched in January 2010, including 2.4 million bioassay measurements covering 622,824 compounds, including 24,000 natural products. This was obtained from curating over 34,000 publications across twelve medicinal chemistry journals. ChEMBL's coverage of available bioactivity data has grown to become "the most comprehensive ever seen in a public database.". In October 2010 ChEMBL version 8 (ChEMBL_08) was launched, with over 2.97 million bioassay measurements covering 636,269 compounds.
ChEMBL_10 saw the addition of the PubChem confirmatory assays, in order to integrate data that is comparable to the type and class of data contained within ChEMBL.
ChEMBLdb can be accessed via a web interface or downloaded by File Transfer Protocol. It is formatted in a manner amenable to computerized data mining, and attempts to standardize activities between different publications, to enable comparative analysis. ChEMBL is also integrated into other large-scale chemistry resources, including PubChem and the ChemSpider system of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
In addition to the database, the ChEMBL group have developed tools and resources for data mining. These include Kinase SARfari, an integrated chemogenomics workbench focussed on kinases. The system incorporates and links sequence, structure, compounds and screening data. GPCR SARfari is a similar workbench focussed on GPCRs and ChEMBL-Neglected Tropical Diseases (ChEMBL-NTD) is a repository for Open Access primary screening and medicinal chemistry data directed at endemic tropical diseases of the developing regions of the Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The primary purpose of ChEMBL-NTD is to provide a freely accessible and permanent archive and distribution centre for deposited data.