Project Details Metabolism terms

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
01 February 2001
End Date: 
05 April 2021


To compile a list of terms with their definitions in the area of drug metabolism and to disseminate the list to the scientific community.


About 150 terms directly related to the field of drug metabolism will be compiled and defined by this expert group for dissemination to the scientific community. This will help achieve a common definition base across the various publications in this field. In addition, a more uniform use of these terms should assist in the future construction of databases pertaining to this field’s information.


(May 2001) Project announcement published in Chem. Int. 23(3) 2001

This project was presented at a postersession at the IUPAC Congress/GA July 2001
>view pdf – 316KB<

The working party has pared-down its initial, all-inclusive list of over 600 terms related to drug metabolism, to a focused list of about 170 terms. The latter better represents just those terms that are the most relevant for medicinal chemistry. To generate definitions, the shortened list has been divided evenly among the 15 experts who are participating on this task group (ca. 11 terms each). About one-third of the terms now have draft definitions. When the latter are complete, they will be reviewed by the entire working party for finalization. It is anticipated that this project will be completed before the end of 2002. Several of the task group’s experts hold editorial positions on major journals associated with medicinal chemistry and drug metabolism, and they would also like to publish the terms (after the terms’ appearance in PAC).

(May 2007) All terms have been defined and while most are also finalized among the Working Party, several are undergoing minor revision. At the same time, the overall formatting is being adjusted to the latest ICTNS requirements.

(May 2011) All terms have been finalized among the present task group members. Formatting is being readdressed according to the latest ICTNS standards.

(Feb 2014) Final revisions are being completed prior submission to Pure and Applied Chemistry.

(March 2016) After various consultations, the task group recognized that a tutorial emphasis would be of much more value than just a list of terms with definitions. Advances in ready access to high-quality didactic technical information via the Internet continue to underscore this revelation. The preparation of the additional accompanying tutorials is on-going, including the reformatting of 70 terms. A submission to Pure and Applied Chemistry is expected during 2017.

(March 2019) The 20-member working party’s final draft entitled “Glossary and tutorial of xenobiotic metabolism terms used during small molecule drug discovery and development (IUPAC Provisional Recommendations)” was submitted for publication in the journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC) in early 2018. Editorial and comments from 6 external reviewers were returned in late 2018. These proved to be very useful in terms of correcting extensive IUPAC-related glossary-formatting matters and in some cases also suggested highly worthwhile enhancements of certain technical content. The list of terms has grown from 236 to 240. The project leader is nearly done incorporating all of the comments and the revised manuscript is on schedule to be returned to PAC in early April (2019).

(August 2019) The provisional recommendations titled “Glossary and tutorial of xenobiotic metabolism terms used during small molecule drug discovery and development” is available for public review till 31 December 2019.

(April 2021) Ultimately, a Technical Report has been published AOP 26 February 2021 and in print in the March 2021 issue of PAC: Paul Erhardt, Kenneth Bachmann, et al. “Glossary and tutorial of xenobiotic metabolism terms used during small molecule drug discovery and development (IUPAC Technical Report)” Pure and Applied Chemistry, vol. 93, no. 3, 2021, pp. 273-403.


Project completed


(Jan 2022) The ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry has republished the report in full in the 2021 Medicinal Chemistry Reviews, Volume 56 (chapter 19, p. 463). For more information about the volume, including the full table of contents, see MEDI homepage and contact Joanne J. Bronson, Editor-in-Chief.


Page last updated 19 April 2022