This website, originally created in a collaboration between The British Pharmacological Society (BPS) and the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) and now developed jointly with funding from the Wellcome Trust, is intended to become a “one-stop shop” portal to pharmacological information. One of the main aims is to provide a searchable database with quantitative information on drug targets and the prescription medicines and experimental drugs that act on them. In future versions we plan to add resources for education and training in pharmacological principles and techniques along with research guidelines and overviews of key topics. We hope that the IUPHAR/BPS (abbreviated as GtoPdb) will be useful for researchers and students in pharmacology and drug discovery and provide the general public with accurate information on the basic science underlying drug action.

The information in the database is presented at two levels: the initial view or landing pages for each target family provide expert-curated overviews of the key properties and selective ligands and tool compounds available. For selected targets more detailed introductory chapters for each family are available along with curated information on the pharmacological, physiological, structural, genetic and pathophysiogical properties of each target. The database is enhanced with hyperlinks to additional information in other databases including Ensembl, UniProt, PubChem, ChEMBL and DrugBank, as well as curated chemical information and literature citations in PubMed.

Click here to access the database

The current version of the database is based on information contained in:

  • Data originally published in the 5th (2011) edition of the BPS Guide to Receptors and Channels (GRAC) (1), which provided a succinct overview of the key properties of over 1600 established or potential pharmacological targets. This has now been replaced by the Concise (CGTP), which was first published in 2013 and updated in 2015 and 2017. This is published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and is created from a snapshot of the database summary pages (2).

    (1) SPH Alexander, A Mathie, JA Peters. (2011) Guide to Receptors and Channels (GRAC), 5th edition. Br J Pharmacol., 164 (Suppl. s1), 1-324. []

    (2) Alexander SPH, Kelly E, Marrion NV, Peters JA, Faccenda E, Harding SD, Pawson AJ, Sharman JL, Southan C, Buneman OP, Cidlowski JA, Christopoulos A, Davenport AP, Fabbro D, Spedding M, Striessnig J, Davies JA; CGTP Collaborators. (2017) The Concise 2017/18. Br J Pharmacol. 174 (Suppl 1): S1-S446. []

  • The IUPHAR database (IUPHAR-DB), which provides in-depth coverage of the properties of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, nuclear receptors, selected enzymes and their ligands, intensively curated and peer-reviewed, with the chemical substances rigorously defined with molecular descriptors. All the data contained within IUPHAR-DB are now available via the website. (The original website was at but this is no longer maintained and we plan to eventually retire the URL.)

Over the next few years the database will be expanded to include major areas of interest to pharmacology with links to other websites. One of our main goals is to provide information on all the targets of currently licensed drugs as well as other potential targets of interest.

The IUPHAR/BPS is developed within the at the , led by who took over the role from Prof. Tony Harmar upon his retirement from the University in 2014. The team comprises the developers, Dr. Joanna Sharman and Dr. Simon Harding, and the curators, Dr. Adam Pawson, Dr. Elena Faccenda, Dr. Christopher Southan and Dr. Jane Armstrong, with administrative support from Mrs. Toni Wigglesworth.

Please us with all enquiries, comments, error reports: Email us

For information on how to cite the data please visit this page.

Database content

Current database content for version 2018.4 released 19 September 2018.

Target ClassNumber of human targets
7TM receptors399
G protein-coupled receptors including orphans393
Orphan G protein-coupled receptors*126
Other 7TM proteins6
Nuclear hormone receptors48
Catalytic receptors245
Ligand-gated ion channels81
Voltage-gated ion channels144
Other ion channels52
Other protein targets201
Total number of targets2880
Chemical ClassNumber of ligands
Synthetic organics6180
Endogenous peptides787
Other peptides including synthetic peptides1313
Natural Products256
Approved drugs1386
Withdrawn drugs69
Drugs with INNs2242
Labelled ligands610
Total number of ligands9405
CategoryCount in database
Number of curated binding constants16213
Number of binding constants from large-scale screens31207
Number of references34382
Human targets with curated interactions1734
Human targets with quantitative interactions1482
Human targets with quantitative interactions with CIDs1328
Human targets of approved drugs610
Human primary targets of approved drugs319
Approved drugs with quantitative interactions868
Ligands with target interactions8047
Ligands with quantitative interactions7080
Ligands with CID and quantitative interactions5604
Ligands with clincial use summary2289
Approved drugs with clincial use summary1383
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Measured by the number of distinct human UniProt entries included in the database for a given target class.
* Orphans are defined as proteins having similarity to receptors but whose endogenous ligands have not yet been conclusively identified.


The database is licensed under the . Its contents are licensed under the .


Founded in 1959 as a section of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology () has been independent since 1966. IUPHAR is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and participates in the work of its scientific committees. It receives international recognition, particularly by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The IUPHAR Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR), founded in 1987, is chaired by Michael Spedding (France) and has the mission of issuing guidelines for receptor and ion channel classification, addressing the main issues in pharmacology today, classifying the major receptor and ion channel systems, facilitating the interface between the discovery of new sequences from the Human Genome Project and the designation of the derived proteins as functional receptors and ion channels and maintaining a website (the IUPHAR/BPS portal) with access to data on all known receptor systems, freely available to all scientists, anywhere in the world. NC-IUPHAR publishes articles on receptor nomenclature and guidelines for terminology in , in collaboration with ASPET, and also publishes reviews and editorials on other topics in the .

Click here for the full publication list.

About the BPS

The (BPS) is a charity with a mission to promote and advance the whole spectrum of pharmacology. Founded in 1931, the Society is now a global community at the heart of pharmacology, with over 3,500 members from more than 60 countries worldwide.

The Society leads the way in the research and application of pharmacology around the world through scientific meetings, educational materials and peer-reviewed journals: the , the and , an open access journal published jointly with ASPET and Wiley.

(formerly The Guide to Receptors and Channels (GRAC)) is published in the British Journal of Pharmacology as a publication snapshot created from the IUPHAR/BPS summary pages, with essential information on drug targets. This data is provided succinctly, so that a newcomer to a particular target group can identify the main elements "at a glance". BPS is proud of the role this popular resource will play alongside the database of our project partners, the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR).

The Society welcomes from all those involved in pharmacology or related disciplines, and offers complimentary or reduced rates at scientific meetings, complimentary access to its journals and a range of bursaries, travel grants and awards to encourage our members in their scientific careers.