Opinion | Published:

Minimum information about a bioactive entity (MIABE)

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery volume 10, pages 661669 (2011) | Download Citation


Bioactive molecules such as drugs, pesticides and food additives are produced in large numbers by many commercial and academic groups around the world. Enormous quantities of data are generated on the biological properties and quality of these molecules. Access to such data — both on licensed and commercially available compounds, and also on those that fail during development — is crucial for understanding how improved molecules could be developed. For example, computational analysis of aggregated data on molecules that are investigated in drug discovery programmes has led to a greater understanding of the properties of successful drugs. However, the information required to perform these analyses is rarely published, and when it is made available it is often missing crucial data or is in a format that is inappropriate for efficient data-mining. Here, we propose a solution: the definition of reporting guidelines for bioactive entities — the Minimum Information About a Bioactive Entity (MIABE) — which has been developed by representatives of pharmaceutical companies, data resource providers and academic groups.

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This work has, in part, been funded by the European Commission under the Proteomics Standards Initiative and International Molecular Exchange (PSIMEx), contract number FP7-HEALTH-2007-223411.

Author information


  1. Sandra Orchard, Dominic Clark, Anna Gaulton, Christoph Steinbeck, Henning Hermjakob, John Overington and Janet Thornton are at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)-European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK.

    • Sandra Orchard
    • , Dominic Clark
    • , Anna Gaulton
    • , Christoph Steinbeck
    • , Henning Hermjakob
    • , John Overington
    •  & Janet Thornton
  2. Bissan Al-Lazikani is at the Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, The Institute of Cancer Research, 15 Cotswold Road, Belmont, Surrey SM2 5NG, UK.

    • Bissan Al-Lazikani
  3. Steve Bryant is at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, US National Institutes of Health, Bldg. 38A, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20894, USA.

    • Steve Bryant
  4. Elizabeth Calder, Ian Dix and Nick Lynch are at AstraZeneca R&D, R&D Information, Alderley Park, Macclesfield SK10 4TG, UK.

    • Elizabeth Calder
    • , Ian Dix
    •  & Nick Lynch
  5. Ola Engkvist is at DECS Computational Sciences, AstraZeneca R&D Mölndal, SE-431 83 Mölndal, Sweden.

    • Ola Engkvist
  6. Mark Forster is at Syngenta R&D Information Systems, International Research Centre, Jealott's Hill, Bracknell, Berkshire RG42 6EY, UK.

    • Mark Forster
  7. Michael Gilson is at the University of California San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.

    • Michael Gilson
  8. Robert Glen and Peter Murray-Rust are at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK.

    • Robert Glen
    •  & Peter Murray-Rust
  9. Martin Grigorov and Elena Lo Piparo are at the Nestlé Research Center, PO BOX 44, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland.

    • Martin Grigorov
    •  & Elena Lo Piparo
  10. Kim Hammond-Kosack is at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, UK.

    • Kim Hammond-Kosack
  11. Lee Harland is at Pfizer, Ramsgate Road, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9NJ, UK.

    • Lee Harland
  12. Lee Harland is also at Connected Discovery Ltd, 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AX, UK.

    • Lee Harland
  13. Andrew Hopkins is at Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK.

    • Andrew Hopkins
  14. Christopher Larminie and Romeena K. Mann are at GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2NY, UK.

    • Christopher Larminie
    •  & Romeena K. Mann
  15. Christopher Southan is at ChrisDS Consulting, Göteborg, 42166, Sweden.

    • Christopher Southan
  16. David Wishart is at the Departments of Computing Science & Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada.

    • David Wishart


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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sandra Orchard.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary information Table S1

    Sample MIABE file exemplifying data extracted from PMID: 20568778

XML files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary information Table S2

    Binding affinity to human ERG

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