Network analysis of FDA approved drugs and their targets

Mt Sinai J Med. 2007 Apr;74(1):27-32. doi: 10.1002/msj.20002.


The global relationship between drugs that are approved for therapeutic use and the human genome is not known. We employed graph-theory methods to analyze the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs and their known molecular targets. We used the FDA Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations 26(th) Edition Electronic Orange Book (EOB) to identify all FDA approved drugs and their active ingredients. We then connected the list of active ingredients extracted from the EOB to those known human protein targets included in the DrugBank database and constructed a bipartite network. We computed network statistics and conducted Gene Ontology analysis on the drug targets and drug categories. We find that drug to drug-target relationship in the bipartite network is scale-free. Several classes of proteins in the human genome appear to be better targets for drugs since they appear to be selectively enriched as drug targets for the currently FDA approved drugs. These initial observations allow for development of an integrated research methodology to identify general principles of the drug discovery process.

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Drug Approval*
  • Humans
  • Systems Biology
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration*