A target in the Platform is understood as any naturally-occurring molecule that can be targeted by a medicinal product. EMBL-EBI Ensembl database is used as source for human targets in the Platform, with the Ensembl gene ID as the primary identifier. The criteria for target inclusion is the next:

  • Genes from all biotypes encoded in canonical chromosomes

  • Genes in alternative assemblies encoding for a reviewed protein product.

This definition accounts for some of the complexities of human targets. Not only protein coding genes can act as targets, as RNAs or pseudogenes are also considered. However, the current definition has some potential drawbacks. Some drug targets are the result of interactions between genes (e.g. gene fusion) or proteins (e.g. protein complexes). The current target entity does not yet consider these cases, which will be addressed in the future.

Target annotation data sources

Annotation data

Data source

Protein, positional, and structural information; functional annotation; Gene Ontology


Molecular Interactions

Open Targets



Baseline expression

Expression Atlas; GTEx; Human Protein Atlas

Variants, isoforms, and genomic context


Comparative genomics

Ensembl Compara

Mouse phenotypes


Cancer hallmarks

Cancer Gene Census

Cancer biomarkers

Cancer Genome Interpreter

Chemical Probes

SGC; Chemical Probes Portal; Open Science Probe Project; Probe Miner


Open Targets

Target tractability

Open Targets

Target safety

HeCaTos, Tox21, eTox, and others

Target Enabling Packages


Known drugs


CRISPR-Cas9 cancer cell line dependency

Project Score