European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platforms for Chemical Biology
General Info


Berlin, Germany

legal status



physical, remote, virtual

The European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platforms for Chemical Biology (EU-OPENSCREEN) is a distributed Research Infrastructure that develops novel small chemical compounds which elicit specific biological responses on organisms, cells or cellular components. EU-OPENSCREEN enables scientists to use compound screening methods to validate novel therapeutic targets and support basic mechanistic studies addressing fundamental questions in cellular physiology – across human, animal and plant systems – using the methods of chemical biology. As a large-scale RI with an “open” pre-competitive character, EU-OPENSCREEN is a cost-effective solution to address the need of the broad scientific community providing access to Europe’s leading screening platforms and chemistry groups, a jointly used compound collection and operating an open-access database accessible on a global basis. In the ESFRI Roadmap since 2008, EU-OPENSCREEN has established the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in 2018.
Total Investment 110 M€ Design Preparation 4,3 M€ Implementation 106 M€ Operation 1,9 M€/year Project Landmark 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 2026 2028 2030 2032 2034 2036 2038 RM06 RM08 RM10 RM16 RM18 RM21 LA24
Roadmap Entry
as project: 2008
as landmark: 2018
Total investment
110 M€
Design Phase
Preparation Phase
4,3 M€
Implementation Phase
106 M€
Operation start
1,9 M€/year
EU-OPENSCREEN may have several impacts, not only from the perspective of the RI in sharing technologies and data but also from the societal point of view. This is exemplified by mentioning the demand to generate improved efficacy and safety of health treatments in the day-to-day lives of European citizens. In addition to pharmacology applications in early drug discovery and toxicology, EU-OPENSCREEN also covers the production of crop-protective compounds, which are of paramount importance to society via the understanding of the response of wild or crop plants to environmental and agricultural substances. The broad biology approach of EU-OPENSCREEN will promote the availability of safe, efficacious and sustainable chemical products for unmet needs in medicine, nutrition, agriculture and the environment. Academic stakeholders, providing the physical screening infrastructure, are joined by industrial stakeholder companies – large, medium and small – of the Pharmaceutical, Agri-Science and Biotechnology sectors. By doing so, EU-OPENSCREEN will advance the development of solutions for the Grand Challenges and guarantee the European competitiveness.
The services offered by EU-OPENSCREEN (EU-OS) are Compound discovery through compound screening, Hit-to-lead optimisation and medicinal chemistry, Compound management and quality control, Uncovering bioactivities of submitted community compounds, Bioprofiling and cell-painting, Operating an open-access database and Training activities. Our compound discovery through compound screening services encompasses a comprehensive range of capabilities tailored for assay development, high-throughput compound screening (HTS), and hit profiling services for the identification of active small molecules. These services also include; Assay Design and Development where we offer expertise in designing and developing assays across a diverse spectrum of readouts including phenotypic assays conducted in BSL2–3 facilities and BSL1 in vitro target-based assays, Biochemical and Enzymatic Target-Based HTS including assay transfer and hit validation, Cell-Based HTS including assay transfer and hit validation, Low- and Medium-Throughput Screening in BSL3 facilities, Fragment screening including assay development, screening, and hit validation, Hit validation and Profiling using diverse methodologies, including disease-relevant models, ADMET studies, ROS tox (Reactive Oxygen Species toxicity), and more. Additionally, EU-OS offers users access to a wide array of small molecule libraries (European Chemical Biology Library (ECBL), European Fragment Screening Library (EFSL), European Academic Compound Library (EACL)) through our partnership with EU-OS screening sites. These libraries are curated to facilitate diverse research needs and provide researchers with a rich pool of compounds for their investigations. The hit-to-lead optimization and medicinal chemistry services provided by EU-OS chemistry sites offer valuable support to researchers in post-screening hit-to-lead/tool and lead/tool optimisation process, including drug design and evaluation in silico, hit-to-lead development following HTS of small molecules, fragment-to-lead development, optimisation of potency, selectivity, and in vitro/in vivo ADMET properties of small molecule drug candidates. EU-OS's Central Compound Management Facility (CCMF) in Berlin stores the jointly used compound collections and provides the partner sites across Europe with quality-controlled compound sets that are used to characterise biological activities in scientific user projects. Using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS), the CCMF team quality-controls all EU-OS compounds, including compounds that are submitted by external chemists, to ensure the identity and purity of the compounds which are used by all affiliated partner sites in the scientific user projects. This quality control process is an important component of EU-OS’s quality assurance and contributes to the reproducibility of the data generated in scientific user projects. Additionally, EU-OS offers chemists the opportunity to make their compounds available, in a regulated and transparent framework, to a wider community of biologists who can test then these compounds in suitable bioassays. By doing so, chemists can expose their compounds to a broad range of different biological/drug targets to uncover the unknown bioactivities of their compounds, which would otherwise not be practical through individual one-to-one collaborations. Once a compound from an EU-OS compound library has been identified as a validated hit compound, a research collaboration between the chemist (who submitted the compound) and the biologist (who developed the bioassay) can be initiated. EU-OS operates the open-access European Chemical Biology Database (ECBD), which serves as an internal data sharing environment as well as a central data hub designed to FAIRify, share, and disseminate EU-OS data to the wide scientific community. The ECBD contains structural and quality-controlled data of EU-OS compound collections, bioprofiling and cell painting data, and bioactivity data from the scientific screening projects. The ECBD is a web portal with powerful search and analysis capabilities and contains validated output from screening centres in both a public and a pre-release environment (based on EU-OS’s data publication policy with an optional embargo period of up to three years; this period can be extended to a maximum of six years). Finally, EU-OS organizes training activities, including webinars, practical workshops, technical training for partner sites, and staff exchanges. The training activities for external users have attracted hundreds of scientists worldwide over the past five years.
EU-OS signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Euro-BioImaging, and a trilateral MoU with Instruct-ERIC and Euro-BioImaging, with the aim to improve access to users requiring support from more than one RI and providing (even more) training, external communication, FAIR data management, and funding opportunities. The three RIs regularly collaborate in various Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects, and regularly organise joint outreach sessions at scientific conferences (e.g., FES congress, ASCB-EMBO conference). Furthermore, EU-OS was among the signatory RIs to establish the group of RIs in the life sciences (