Project Details Implementation of InChI for chemically modified large biomolecules

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 November 2013
End Date:


To establish requirements and guidelines for the generation of a unique name for biological sequences including chemically modified. The intended outcome is the world-wide adoption of the a standard with the ensuing more comprehensive and more accurate handling of biological structures that have been chemically modified in, e.g., databases, appropriate books and journal articles etc.

> Link to InChI subcommittee


The IUPAC International Chemical Identifier (InChI) algorithm is now well established as a powerful means of denoting the basic chemical structure of a well-defined, small (< 1024 atoms) organic molecule as a unique machine-readable character string, suitable for electronic data storage, searching and exchange. The IUPAC Division VIII InChI Subcommittee is now starting work on a complete overhaul of the InChI algorithm, i.e. the beginning of plans for a version 2 of InChI. A crucial part of this work is intended to address the known shortcomings of the current InChI algorithm pertaining to the handling (or lack thereof) of various types of biological substances. Chemically modified sequences are becoming a very important in life science research both as tools and as products. Chemically modified biologics range from siRNA sequences, established therapies such as Levimir and Byetta for diabetes, to the growing area of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). There is currently no standard approach for the naming of chemically modified biologics; this constitutes a tremendous opportunity for InChI to become established as the naming technology.


Sep 2014 – Project announcement published in Chem. Int. Sep-Oct 2014, p. 18; DOI: 10.1515/ci-2014-0520

Last updated 10 June 2016