Preclinical Research Toolbox

NCATS and other NIH Institutes and Centers have developed tools and resources to help scientists conduct preclinical research. Selected resources and software tools are listed below.

Small Molecules, Compounds & Probes

Assay Guidance Manual contains detailed information on developing appropriate assays for high-throughput screening projects.

The Compound Management team acquires chemical libraries for small molecule screening. Screening access to NCATS’ compound libraries is provided through collaboration.

NCATS Pharmaceutical Collection is a publicly available, Web-based application that provides complete information on active pharmaceutical ingredients, including small molecule drugs that have been approved by regulatory agencies from the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, as well as all compounds that have been registered for human clinical trials.

PubChem  is a freely accessible database of small organic molecules and their activities against biological assays.

Probes developed by scientists at NCATS, in collaboration with hundreds of extramural scientists, are freely accessible to the scientific community.

Phenotypic Drug Discovery Resource, supported through a collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company’s Open Innovation Drug Discovery program, enables access to disease-relevant assays to explore the effects of small molecules on molecular processes.

BioPlanet is a publicly available, comprehensive database that details the body’s biological pathways. Researchers can use it to study gene activity, disease mechanisms, cell toxicity and more.


BEST (Biomarkers, EndpointS, and other Tools) Resource is an online glossary developed by a Food and Drug Administration and NIH joint committee to clarify terms used in translational science and medical product development, with a focus on study endpoints and biomarkers. 

Informatics Tools & Information Systems

Global Ingredient Archival System is a registration system for the ingredients in medicinal products that makes it easier for stakeholders to exchange information about substances in medicines, supporting scientific research on the use and safety of these products.

NCATS Chemical Genomics Center CurveFit serves as a public, stand-alone, open-source version of the Center’s own curve-fitting software. This application automatically fits and classifies thousands of dose-response curves.

Additional software and informatics tools, including specialized browsers, are available under “Software” in the right-hand column of the Tripod server.


NCATS has filed patent applications on several technologies developed by Center investigators. To ensure that these new technologies are further developed and commercialized, NCATS seeks collaboration and licensing partners.

Therapy Development

The NCATS Toolkit for Patient-Focused Therapy Development is a centralized collection of online resources that can help patient groups advance through the research and development process for new treatments.