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DrugBank is a "drug (i.e. chemical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical) data" and "drug target (i.e. sequence, structure, and pathway) information" online database, supported by Dr. David Wishart, the Departments of Computing Science & Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta, Genome Alberta, Genome Canada, and GenomeQuest, Inc.[1] The homepage of DrugBank describes how the database contains:[1]

  • 6796 drug entries
    • 1437 FDA-approved small molecule drugs
    • 134 FDA-approved biotech (protein/peptide) drugs
    • 83 nutraceuticals
    • 5174 experimental drugs
  • 4285 non-redundant protein (i.e. drug target/enzyme/transporter/carrier) sequences are linked to these drug entries

The record for each drug entry contains "more than 150 data fields with half of the information being devoted to drug/chemical data and the other half devoted to drug target or protein data."[1]


Users can either browse or search through DrugBank. Browsing options include:

  • Drug Browse - Browse through a list of all available drugs, and filter by molecule type or legal status. User can sort results by DrugBank ID, Name, CAS Number, Weight, and Formula.
  • Pharma Browse - A list of physical categories subdivided into pharmaceutical use categories. Drugs are classified under pharmaceutical uses.
  • Geno Browse - A list of drugs, including Interacting Gene/Enzyme for each result. Filter through options SNP-ADR or SNP-FX.
  • Pathway Browse - A list of pathway names (organized under different classes) and corresponding drugs. Users can utilize a search form to search the list by drug name.
  • Class Browse - A list of drugs, organized under different classes. Users can utilize a search form to search the list by drug name.
  • Association Browse - A list of chemicals with a short description of specific function for each result. Filter by Targets, Enzymes, Carriers, or Transporters.

Search options include:

  • ChemQuery - Structure search through a structure-drawing tool, search using a SMILES string, or search a range of monoisotopic masses.
  • Text Query - Search within a command line interface, which supports Boolean operators, wildcards, parenthetical groupings, (+/-) operators, and field codes. All available codes, as well as examples of correct query formation, are listed below the search form.
  • Interax Interaction Search - Enter drug names, separated by a semi-colon and a space, to search for drug interactions. A Multi-Search, which allows the user to enter 2 lists of drugs, and a Food Interaction Lookup are also available.
  • Sequence Search - Enter the DNA/amino acid query sequence in FASTA format and enter BLAST parameters.
  • Data Extractor - Select multiple fields to search within simultaneously and view the data for selected fields for all results in HTML or Excel format.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "DrugBank." DrugBank website, http://drugbank.ca/. Accessed September 15, 2011.

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