EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC Newsletter No 21, April 2021

New EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE Chemoproteomics and Mass Spectrometry Imaging Call now open for applications

The EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE project offers access for compound disposition studies along with chemical proteomics workflows and related advanced mass spectrometry-based technologies. Our chemistry partner sites together with partners with proven track-record in probe development, target deconvolution and Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) will support at least 3 successful applicants, providing collaboration on target identification or compound disposition studies.
For more information, please visit the EU-OPENSCREEN DRIVE website.
The deadline for proposal submissions is May 17th, 2021.

EU-OPENSCREEN compounds were distributed to screening partner sites as planned

Under the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, the EU-OPENSCEEN compound management team was able to set up the laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment including liquid handling systems and an automated tube storage system. After setting up all relevant pipetting methods, more than 100.000 compounds from 96 well racks were aliquoted and reformatted into 384 well stock plates. A total of 287 plates per site, and 4.018 plates in total were sent out to our different screening sites. This sums up to more than 1.4 million distributed aliquots. Well done team!

European Chemical Biology Database (ECBD) is being prepared for operation

The ECBD represents the central data hub designed to accommodate and disseminate data generated within the EU-OPENSCREEN network. As one of the EU-OPENSCREEN core services, the ECBD was developed in line with the FAIR principles ensuring Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability of data.

There are several ways to access the ECBD data, serving the needs of different types of users. Scientists who work with the ECBD through a web interface, can view, visualize, filter, and export subsets of data, Data scientists who use data for machine learning campaigns can take advantage of a fully downloadable database for local use.

While EU-OPENSCREEN clearly promotes open access and FAIR data principles, it also pays attention to the protection of the IP interests of our collaborators and partners by offering an optional embargo period on the uploaded experimental data. During the embargo period of up to 36 months, data are accessible only by the EU-OPENSCREEN partner site which generates the data, and by the collaborators themselves, giving them sufficient time for the publication of the results in peer-reviewed journals, for patent filing, or for follow-up studies to advance their previous findings.
The ECBD is developed and maintained by the Institute of Molecular Genetics (IMG) in Prague, Czech Republic, led by Petr Bartůněk, Director of CZ-OPENSCREEN, the National Infrastructure for Chemical Biology. To ensure high stability and scalability of the system, IMG collaborates with CESNET, an association of universities of the Czech Republic and the Czech Academy of Sciences, which operates and develops the national e-infrastructure for science. CESNET provides the technology behind the ECBD, including cloud-based hosting with a robust backup strategy, and state-of-the-art data security.

Increasing the visibility of European Research Infrastructures: EU-OPENSCREEN and the RI-VIS project

International cooperation in science and technology is an important part of addressing major global issues like climate change, infectious disease, food security, and natural disasters.

EU-OPENSCREEN is partner in the RI-VIS project, a Horizon 2020 funded project to increase the visibility of European research infrastructures (RIs) to new communities in Europe and beyond. EU-OPENSCREEN co-leads the work package Global Outreach and Partnering Events and co-organised the first Africa-Europe Symposium on Research Infrastructures on February 1-2, 2021 as a virtual event.

The first Africa-Europe Symposium on Research Infrastructures brought together more than 260 delegates from African and European Research Infrastructures (RIs), science policy organisations and research institutions to discuss opportunities and challenges for RI cooperations between Africa and Europe.

Ahead of the Africa-Europe Symposium on Research Infrastructures EU-OPENSCREEN was actively involved in the publication of the first RI-VIS White Paper entitled "Recommendations towards cooperation between African and European research infrastructures".

On June 15-17, 2021, EU-OPENSCREEN will co-organise the Latin America-Europe Symposium on Research Infrastructures. This symposium is organised as part of RI-VIS and the EU-LAC ResInfra project, a Horizon 2020-funded project which strives towards a new EU-LAC partnership in Research Infrastructures. Free registrations for this symposium are now open.

Within the RI-VIS project EU-OPENSCREEN also contributed to the recent publication of three White Papers, which provide recommendations on how to increase collaboration between European research infrastructures and counterparts from Africa, Latin America and Australia. The papers are targeted at funders, policy makers and research infrastructure managers and collate the insights of 21 experts from research infrastructures and policymakers from the respective regions.

The White Papers are available here.

EOSC Life achievements brochure published

EU-OPENSCREEN actively contributed to the EOSC-LIFE project with partner sites Fraunhofer ITMP (Hamburg) and IMG (Prague). The teams were part of a successfully completed demonstrator project covering data workflows in chemical and structural biology. Within this demonstrator project, EU-OPENSCREEN worked on the harmonisation of protein structure and compound bioactivity data sets, especially in the framework of Covid-19 pandemic related studies. The outcomes of the project are described and presented in detail in a video presentation, which can be found here.

Support from the EOSC-LIFE project led to the submission in public archives of multiple Covid-19 related bioactivity and cell-image data sets arising from compound repurposing efforts, including those using the EU-OPENSCREEN bioactive collection of 2.500 compounds. Associated scientific publications covered studies on the main protease (M-Pro) of SARS-Cov2 and using phenotypic screening for assessing the anti-cytopathic effects of compounds.

FAIRified versions of the data sets have been made available on the ChEMBL and Image Data Repository clouds with support from EOSC-LIFE and will form part of the initial data to be included in the ECBD. This allows for greater reuse of the data by external scientists as well as providing a resource which will support training in advanced image analysis methods, which is being planned by the EuroBioImaging research infrastructure. For more information, please read the recently published EOSC-Life achievements brochure.

ERIC Forum elects Francisco Colomer, JIVE ERIC Director, as new Chair

We congratulate Francisco Colomer, Director of JIVE ERIC, on being elected as the new Chair of the ERIC Forum. The new Chair, with the support of members from the Executive Board that includes Wolfgang Fecke as director of the EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC and representative of the Life Science research infrastructure cluster, will be in charge of the strategic management and planning of the ERIC Forum. The ERIC Forum aims at strengthening its dialogue and relations with key stakeholders such as the European Commission and the ESFRI (the European Strategy Forum of research infrastructures).


Discovery of a novel allosteric binding site in the SARS-2 protease

Our partner site Fraunhofer ITMP in Hamburg was involved in a large research project with more than 100 partners. In order to find drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2, the consortium performed a large-scale X-ray crystallographic screen of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro), which is essential for viral replication, against two repurposing libraries containing 5953 unique compounds. In contrast to commonly applied X-ray fragment screening experiments with molecules of low complexity, the screen tested already approved drugs, and drugs in clinical trials. From the three-dimensional protein structures, 37 compounds were identified as specific binders to Mpro. In subsequent cell-based viral reduction assays, one peptidomimetic and six non-peptidic compounds showed antiviral activity at non-toxic concentrations. Two allosteric binding sites were identified, representing attractive targets for drug development against SARS-CoV-2.

For more information see here.

Learn more about complex cellular models in High-Throughput Screening

If you are interested in 3D in vitro models and drug discovery make sure to read our recent publication “Academic collaborative models fostering the translation of physiological in vitro systems from basic research into drug discovery”, written in collaboration with our partners Francisca Vicente (Fundación MEDINA) and María J. Vicent (Príncipe Felipe Research Centre).
You will see recent advances in the application of complex models to high-throughput drug screening, and how collaborative approaches can efficiently support researchers in accessing state-of-the-art chemical biology platforms, allowing for efficient development of new screening technologies.

The publication can be downloaded here:

European Chemical Biology Symposium (ECBS), 26-28 May 2021

The European Chemical Biology Symposium (ECBS) 2021, which is jointly organised by EU-OPENSCREEN and the EuChemS Division of Chemistry for Life Sciences will take place May 26-28, 2021 as a virtual event.
The ECBS 2021 brings together scientists from Europe and beyond to present and discuss their latest achievements in chemical sciences at the intersection of biology and medicine, ranging from new therapeutic approaches to resistant pathogens and viral infections (for which there is a special session on COVID19 research), to targeting protein degradation, natural products, artificial intelligence in drug discovery, nanostructured biomaterials, synthetic biology, glycochemistry and the chemistry of the origin of life.

More information and free registration can be found at


How to apply for a screening project

Alessandra Silvestri, scientific project manager from our EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC central office team is the prime contact for all assay providers, who wish to work with our libraries at one of our screening partner sites. First-time research applicants as well as those who have already been in contact with the local sites can submit their project proposal to our ERIC central office via our screening request form.

In consultation with the local partner sites, our scientific project management team will provide the applicants with information on the scientific, technical, administrative and financial requirements for projects.

For further questions on the screening process please contact:

Dr Alessandra Silvestri (Scientific Project Manager)
Phone: +49 (0)30 9489 2429

How to include your compounds in the European Academic Compound Library (EACL)

Chemists are invited to collaborate with EU-OPENSCREEN by submitting their compounds, free of charge, to the European Academic Compound Library (EACL) as part of the EU-OPENSCREEN compound library’s collection.

With the goal of sourcing 40,000 compounds from chemistry laboratories around the world, the European Chemical Biology Library (ECBL) (a general purpose, diversity library containing more than 95,000 commercially available small molecules) will be enriched with this unique set of academic compounds. Within such collaboration, chemists can verify their syntheses, as all submitted compounds will be characterised in a series of bioprofiling assays and screened in a variety of biological assays at one of our 17 high-throughput screening partner sites.

The purity of the compounds needs to be at least of 90% and its quality will be re-checked at the EU-OPENSCREEN laboratory in Berlin. All pre-requisites for submission can be found here. The process is regulated by a Material Transfer Agreement and when a compound is found as validated hit, the chemist is immediately informed by the EU-OPENSCREEN central office. Ultimately, all data will be available to a broader scientific community via the open access European Chemical Biology Database (ECBD), with a possible embargo period of up to 3 years.

For more information on how you can submit your compound to the EU-OPENSCREEN compound library please fill in the expression of interest form on our website: .

EU-OPENSCREEN training activities

EU-OPENSCREEN training activities continue during the pandemic. On-line webinars are organised, and expert speakers are invited to give lectures on various scientific topics.

The recorded webinars are uploaded here.

Stay tuned for up-coming training opportunities!

For further enquiries or suggestions regarding our training courses please contact:

Dr Kathy Skopelitou (Administrative Project Manager)
Phone: +49 (0)30 9489 2417

General enquiries

Phone: +49 (0)30 9489 2422
Email:  office(at)

Robert-Rössle-Str. 10, Building C87
13125 Berlin, Germany

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EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC newsletter team · Robert-Rössle-Str. 10 · Berlin 13125 · Germany

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