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A new guide to immunopharmacology

The International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) guide to immunopharmacology ( is a new, Wellcome Trust-funded, open-access resource that brings an immunological perspective to the high quality, expert-curated pharmacological data found in the existing IUPHAR/British Pharmacological Society guide to pharmacology (

A unique aspect of this resource is that all data are manually curated, with support from 96 target class-specific IUPHAR subcommittees, comprising over 500 scientists. The guide to immunopharmacology extension delivers a knowledge base that, for the first time, connects immunology with pharmacology, bringing added value and supporting research and development of drugs targeted at modulating immune, inflammatory or infectious components of disease. Its integration with the guide to pharmacology comes with enhanced search mechanisms and new ways to browse and visualize immunological data (see Further Reading). The importance of extending into immune-relevant data is underlined by a new partnership between IUPHAR and the International Union of Immunological Sciences (IUIS) to create standard tools and nomenclature.

The guide to immunopharmacology has extended the information stored about drug targets by associating them with biological processes, cell types and diseases of relevance to immunology. In total, over 540 targets and 1,000 ligands are tagged in the database as being relevant to immunopharmacology. To date, we have curated approximately 300 associations between targets and immune cell types; approximately 3,000 associations between targets and immune or inflammatory system processes; approximately 53 associations between targets and immunological diseases; and approximately 700 associations between ligands and immunological diseases.

“a knowledge base that, for the first time, connects immunology with pharmacology”

This expert curation seeks to bring the most valuable pharmacological data into the hands of immunology researchers, facilitating the crossover of their research into drug discovery and therapeutics.


Further reading

  1. Harding, S. D. et al. The IUPHAR/BPS guide to pharmacology in 2018: updates and expansion to encompass the new guide to immunopharmacology. Nucleic Acids Res. 46, D1091–D1106 (2018)

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Correspondence to Jamie A. Davies.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Harding, S.D., Faccenda, E., Southan, C. et al. A new guide to immunopharmacology. Nat Rev Immunol 18, 729 (2018).

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