Kick-starting Open Targets with The Hyve

2018 was a great year for The Hyve, in which we set the first steps in supporting Open Targets. The Open Targets Platform was already on our radar as an interesting platform, Open Source, user-friendly and good-looking, the kind of platform we love to work with.

At the beginning of the year an opportunity presented itself to support one of our clients in running a pilot project with the Open Targets Platform. This pilot project was a stepping stone to a follow up project, Sanofi joining the Open Targets efforts and a lot of interest from other clients.

First project

As mentioned in the introduction, the first project was a pilot for an existing client. We have installed the Open Targets Platform, loaded the public data from snapshot, customized the styling to match their house-style and successfully tested the platform.

Follow up projects

As a result of the successful pilot we set up follow up projects with the same customer. One of these is focusing on maintaining the installation and upgrading it every time a new version of the platform is released. In a parallel project we are focused on loading proprietary data that will help the customer in their search for better targets for drug development.

In addition to these two projects, that both focus on the Open Targets Platform, we are currently in the process of setting up a third project, which will be a pilot project for the Open Targets Genetics Portal. Here we intend to assess whether the platform is mature enough to host proprietary GWAS/PheWAS analysis result data.


After the first pilot project we learned that another of our long-term clients, Sanofi, was interested in having their own in-house Open Targets installation to use their proprietary data more effectively in finding new drug targets. Given our excellent relation and experience with the Open Targets platform in the pilot we could quickly set up the project. The project includes installation with customization, updating with new releases, running the public data pipeline and extending the platform for proprietary data.

Visiting the Open Targets team at EBI

As part of the projects for both clients we needed to get the public data pipeline up and running, and understand its inner workings and design. Additionally, we also want to be able to contribute to the pipeline. To be able to do so we need to understand the future plans EBI has with it and with the platform itself so we can align our efforts with theirs.

To make sure we would hit the ground running, we planned a three day workshop with EBI to go through the current technology stack and design for the back end, front end and data loading pipeline. We also discussed future plans and priorities and how we will collaborate efficiently.

Many thanks to EBI, and Elaine McAuley in particular for organizing the workshop on-site on the Genome Campus in Hinxton. Also, special thanks to Miguel Carmona and Adam Faulconbridge for their time and detailed explanations. We have had a great stay and learned a lot!

More is yet to come

In 2019 we hope that we can increase the number of people benefiting from the Open Targets platform, expand the datasets and features that are available on the platform and help our clients to find better targets. Ultimately, we hope more and better drugs will be found than before, and that patients worldwide will benefit from these. If we can help each other in reaching these goals, please reach out.

Open Targets Open Targets

The Open Targets target validation platform and genetics portal are great tools to support the target discovery process, which is an essential part of the drug discovery pipeline. The Open Targets Platform is an open-source web-based platform, that integrates multiple data sources of various types. The more recently released Open Targets Genetics Platform allows you to discover associations between genes, variants and traits using GWAS data.

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