Subcommittee on HELM


IUPAC established the HELM Subcommittee in 2021 to oversee a partnership with the Pistoia Alliance for ongoing oversight of the project. The HELM Subcommittee coordinates activities to support the documentation and user community and liaises with the Pistoia Alliance and community contributors to maintain the technical resources. The HELM Subcommittee is a joint body of the IUPAC Committee on Publications and Cheminformatics Data Standards (CPCDS) and the Division of Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation (Division VIII), with representation from the InChI Subcommittee, the IUBMB-IUPAC Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature (JCBN), the Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology (SPT) and the HELM user community.


HELM (Hierarchical Editing Language for Editing Macromolecules) is a machine-readable linear notation for representing biopolymers, including peptides, antibodies, other oligonucleotides and therapeutic proteins. HELM has been developed and supported by the Pistoia Alliance since 2013 through an active user community and member organizations. As of 2021, HELM is a mature digital motif with demonstrated efficacy and applicability in informatics and structure representation.

Project materials include the specification, license documentation, open-source code and tools, test data, best practices and guidelines, and other community outreach materials. HELM Wiki:


Read more about HELM – see full bibliography
Tianhong Zhang et al, J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2012, 52, 10, 2796–2806;
Jeff Milton et al, J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2017, 57, 6, 1233–1239;