Open Pharmacological Concepts Triple Story (Open PHACTS)

At a Glance
  • Status: Active Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2011
  • Initiating Organization: Innovative Medicines Initiative
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • No disease focus
  • Location: Europe


Analysis and hypothesis generation for drug-discovery projects requires assembly, overlay, and comparison of data from many sources as well as development of shared identifiers and common semantics. Expression profiles need to be overlaid with gene or pathway identifiers and reports on compound pharmacology. Alignment and integration of internal and public data and information sources require a significant effort, and the process is repeated across companies, institutes, and academic laboratories. This represents significant waste and increases opportunity cost. To address these challenges, the Open Pharmacological Concepts Triple Store (Open PHACTS) project will develop an open-access innovation platform, called Open Pharmacological Space (OPS), via a semantic web approach, which will be comprised of data, vocabularies, and infrastructure needed to accelerate drug-oriented research.


The Open PHACTS aim is to develop an enabling resource for drug-discovery projects, which is open to all users and freely available in the public domain.

Consortium History

January 2011: Project started
January 2014: Open PHACTS launched its Target Dossier application (app)
June 2014: Open PHACTS held its Sixth Community Workshop in London to introduce members of the academic community to the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform

Structure & Governance

Project Coordinator
Stefan Senger
GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development

Managing Entity of IMI Beneficiaries
Gerhard Ecker
University of Vienna

The Scientific Advisory Board is an external body of experts in the computational science domain. It represents the global scientific user community with special focus on representation from outside Europe. Its role is to advise on development and dissemination of the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform with respect to scientific disciplines. The following experts serve on Scientific Advisory Board:  

Mark Forster (chair)
Dean Allemang
Michael Barnes
Tim Clark
Stephen Friend
Jim Hendler
David Searls
Susie Stephens


This project is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a public-private partnership between the European Union (EU) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the EU Seventh Framework Programme and EFPIA companies’ in kind contribution. Large pharmaceutical companies participating in IMI projects do not receive IMI funding. IMI contributed €11.5 million, EFPIA contributed €6.5 million in kind, and other sources contributed €2.9 million, for a total cost of €20.9 million.

Intellectual Property

The IMI intellectual property (IP) policy governs the IP regime of all projects funded by the IMI Joint Undertaking. To assist with specific IP queries, IMI has set up a dedicated IP Helpdesk, which can be contacted by emailing The IMI IP policy can be accessed at

Data Sharing

According to IMI’s IP policy, the participants undertake to disseminate the data as soon as reasonably practicable but not later than one year after the termination or expiry of the project. The project agreement shall include a description of the material, which must be disseminated in accordance with the IP policy and referenced in the grant agreement. If the participants do not disseminate within such time periods without good reason, then the Executive Office has the right to disseminate such results in a manner consistent with the grant agreement.

The Open PHACTS project will deliver an online platform with a set of integrated, publicly available, pharmacological data. The software and data will be available for download and local installation, under an open-source and open-access model. Tools and services will be provided to query and visualize this data, and a sustainability plan will be in place, continuing the operation of the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform after the project funding ends.


This semantic integration hub will remove key bottlenecks in small molecule drug discovery, such as disparate information sources and lack of standards and common identifiers.

Points of Contact

Stefan Senger
Research Manager
GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development Ltd

Gerhard Ecker
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
University of Vienna

Sponsors & Partners

Academic Concept Knowledge Limited

AstraZeneca AB

BioSolveIT GmBH

Consorci Mar Parc de Salut de Barcelona

Eli Lilly and Company Limited

European Bioinformatics Institute

GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development Limited

H. Lundbeck A/S

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV

Laboratories Almirall, S.A.

Laboratorios del Dr. Esteve, S.A.

Leiden University Medical Centre

Maastricht University

Merck KGaA

Novartis Pharma AG

Pfizer Ltd.

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

Royal Society of Chemistry

Spanish National Cancer Research Centre

Stichting Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre

Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

Technical University of Denmark

Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Universität Wien

University of Hamburg, Center for Bioinformatics

University of Manchester

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


OpenLink Group Limited

SciBite Limited

The Open PHACTS Foundation

Last Updated: 04/08/2016

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